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Student athletes from Sheffield Hallam University are set to represent Great Britain in the World University Winter Games in Kazakhstan.

With nine students competing in the men and women's hockey and the freestyle skiing events, Sheffield Hallam has the highest number of students representing GB out of all UK universities.

They will be part of the 65-strong GB delegation travelling to Almaty this week where they will be joined by approximately 2,500 student athletes from 58 countries.

The GB men’s ice hockey team, which features Sheffield Hallam students James Scott, Matthew Croyle, Liam Charnock and Michael Mawer are in the first event of the 2017 Games as they take on Slovakia in their opening fixture on 28 January.

Sport and exercise science Masters student, Michael, said: "It's a big honour to be going to such a big event. We're in for a tough run when we get there but it'll be a big opportunity for us all and a great experience.

"We've got a really great team so I'm really looking forward to spending time with the guys and working hard to compete against some top nations."

Sheffield Hallam's Judy Brown, Sarah Hutchinson, Megan Rathbone and Samantha Bolwell are next up as they face Kazakhstan in the women's ice hockey group stage tie.

"It's amazing to be able to represent Great Britain and also Sheffield Hallam," said Samantha, who is studying for a Masters degree in sport and exercise psychology.  "This is one of the best opportunities you can get in sport as everyone is playing for their country so it's a really proud moment.

"I'm hopeful we can bring back a medal but we are playing some really good teams and I expect there to be some really good hockey played by everyone, including ourselves as Great Britain."

Sport and exercise science student, Calum Paton will also be battling for medal position in the slopestyle skiing event later next week.

Accompanying the GB student athletes are 31 members of support staff across a variety of roles, including Sheffield Hallam's sports operations manager and men's ice hockey team manager, Andrew Miller.

L-R: James Scott, Liam Charnock, Samantha Bolwell, Sarah Hutchinson, Judy Brown, Matthew Croyle, Michael Mawer, Calum Paton.
Calum Paton.jpg

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The biennial Winter Games, is a 12-sport event which is organised for university students by the International University Sports Federation. The event is one of only two senior multi-sport, international winter events, alongside the Winter Olympics.

A broadcast of the games will be available in 80 countries, with viewing figures expected to surpass 80 billion. The organising committee are also expecting more than 30,000 guests and tourists to attend the event which will close on 8 February.

Dan Porter, head of sports services at Sheffield Hallam University, said: "The fact that we have the most students competing in the Winter Games than any other university in the country is reflective of the high calibre of athletes and staff we have here at Hallam.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our students to compete on a world stage and represent both Hallam and Great Britain and we're all incredibly proud of them."

For press information: Sarah Duce in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email