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Diver Reid excited about Olympic test event

11 February 2016

University of Edinburgh student Grace Reid jets off to Brazil today to compete in the FINA Diving World Cup, her first senior world level competition taking place at the Rio 2016 Games venue.

The competition, which runs from 19-24 February, is both the Olympic test event and an opportunity to qualify Great Britain’s remaining quota places for this summer’s Games.

Every country will be at this event aiming to secure their place in Rio for the Olympics making it one of the most important competitions of the year.

“We’ve already got one quota place for women’s 3m springboard and the aim is to get another of the available spaces for GB,” said 19-year-old Grace.

“Katherine [Torrance] and I are going out to hopefully get this place, so there’s a job at hand.

“I’ve never been to Brazil but I am so excited to get out there. This is the last chance for all the countries to get their remaining Olympic spot so it’s going to be a tough event for every diver out there.”

And, although the Rio Games-bound British team won’t be decided until the selection trials in June, Reid can hardly contain her excitement at seeing how she will shape up against the world’s best in Rio this month.

“It’s going to be so exciting getting onto the world scene, getting a taste for it and showing what I can do after all the hard work I’ve been doing,” she said.

It’s been a near perfect start to the season for the Applied Sports Science first year student who was selected for the 15-strong GB team after winning two gold medals in January’s British National Diving Cup at Southend.

“Although it’s only February I feel I have been preparing for the season for a long time,” she said.  “So, to start the season with that performance is a really good boost for my confidence and show all the hard work is paying off.”

Grace is one of 147 students to be supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes. Through the programme she receives funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.

The University of Edinburgh is one of 17 Scottish universities and 14 colleges alongside which form the Winning Students network. Students at network colleges and universities benefit from a dedicated co-ordinator to ensure they can balance their studies and sport effectively.

“This is the first year of my degree and I’m really enjoying having the balance between studying and sport,” said Grace, who along with fellow Glasgow 2014 Games competitor James Heatly, became Winning Student’s first diving scholars this season.

“I have to work my university timetable and training around each other, which can be manic, but it’s a completely different training regime this year and I really like the balance. 

“It’s been awesome to have the support of the University, Winning Students and a massive support network to make sure that I’m keeping up with everything, especially when I’m going away.

“It’s really helpful to have the financial support from Winning Students and it’s also a great way to meet other athletes who are on the programme.”