Sport & Exercise

Strengthening for the future of sport at Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh Sport & Exercise prepares for the future of sport at Edinburgh with two strategic appointments.

From 24 February Claire Cruikshank will refocus her energies to become our full-time Head of Performance Ladies’ Rugby, which is a role she has been undertaking in tandem with her demanding day-to-day responsibility as Head of Performance Sport.  This move not only represents the potential and ambition of Ladies Rugby at the University, but also recognises the inspiring successes Claire has brought to the programme over the past 9 years.

Ross Simpson, currently Head of Sport Development will be promoted to a new role as “Head of Sport and Assistant Director” bringing together responsibility for Recreational, Intramural, Club and Performance Sport as well as Volunteering, further strengthening our commitment to ensuring a cohesive, inclusive and progressive student sport pathway.

“I am delighted with these two important strategic appointments. It is testament to Claire’s leadership and dedication that our Ladies Rugby Team is now among the best in the country and we fully expect the programme to grow even further now it is Claire’s sole focus. I am also confident that with Ross’s knowledge, experience and drive, we’ll build on all the excellent work already taking place across the whole spectrum of sport at Edinburgh”

Jim Aitken MBEDirector of Sport & Exercise -

These appointments are particularly important as we prepare for the projected transformational impact that the proposed Peffermill Sports Village will bring to the scope and quality of the University’s sport and fitness offer for generations ahead.


Ever since I took on the Head Coach role in 2011 we have been working towards this point and now is the right time for me to concentrate exclusively on the ladies’ rugby programme. I’d like to thank all the coaches and athletes who have made my time as Head of Performance Sport so rewarding and look forward to continuing to play my part through ladies’ rugby, the future of sport at the University is very bright!

Claire Cruikshank


I am delighted to have this opportunity to bring Recreational, Intramural, Club and Performance sport together. The next few years will be transformational and I am confident we can build on the already excellent work taking place across all of sport at Edinburgh to achieve even more.

Ross Simpson