National Performance Centres

Working closely with governing bodies of sport, Winning Students helped establish and continues to support two national performance centres.

The two centres are the Scottish FA National Performance Centre for women's football at Heriot-Watt University and the Orienteering Centre of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh. Here, athletes study and train in the one location, accessing the key support services to assist their performance development.


The Scottish FA National Performance Centre for women's football opened its doors in 2009 at the University of Stirling and is now based at Heriot-Watt University.

Scotland’s first national centre of excellence for women’s football has been established through a partnership between the Universities, Winning Students and the Scottish FA.

Players are carefully selected by the Scottish FA and the programme supports those at A squad and U19 level. The players train daily under the tutelage of Head Coach Willie Kirk. Each player combines their sport with study for a degree at the University or at Edinburgh College.

football celebrate


The Edinburgh Orienteering Centre of Excellence supports talented orienteers as they prepare for national and international competition, including the 2015 World Orienteering Championships in Inverness. Orienteering sees competitors complete a course from start to finish in the fastest possible time, visiting control points along the way and navigating with the help of a map and compass. Races are split into sprint, middle distance, long distance and relay.

The Centre – the first of its kind in the UK - was established at the University of Edinburgh through a multi-partnership arrangement with Winning Students and both Scottish and British Orienteering. Orienteers receive support from the Centre upon selection for a scholarship.


gym training

football coaching

football study