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University athletes to represent Team GB at Rio Olympics

The University of Gloucestershire will have three athletes representing the Great Britain team at the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic Games, starting on Friday 5 August, will include England rugby union sevens player Ruaridh McConnochie, who has been selected for the Team GB rugby sevens squad. Ruaridh, who hails from Cranbrook in Kent, completed his BSc Sport and Exercise Science degree in 2015 before signing professional terms with England sevens.

Current MSc Strength and Conditioning student Heather Fisher is in the women’s sevens rugby union squad along with Danielle Waterman. Danielle is a former postgraduate student at the university who was heavily involved in setting up and coaching on the Women’s 7s Centre of Excellence Programme that began in July 2014. Both are highly experienced players at international level.

Rugby is one of the university’s ‘focus sports’ and the sevens Centre of Excellence was set up when it was announced the game would be become a new addition to the Olympic programme. This year, the University of Gloucestershire’s women’s rugby union sevens team won the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) sevens title and a silver medal representing Great Britain at the European University Sports Association (EUSA) Games.

Mark Jeffreys, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Head of Rugby Union, said: “It is fantastic to have people from the University of Gloucestershire involved in the biggest sporting event on the planet, and it is great to have ‘Olympians’ in our midst. They have worked amazingly hard to get to this point and I am sure they will do everything to bring a medal home for their country.”

See how they progress in Rio by following them on Twitter: Ruaridh @ruaridhmcc, Danielle @nolli15 and Heather @Hfisher2012.