Extraordinary Graduates Celebrated for their Sporting Achievements at The University of Edinburgh 

Last week University of Edinburgh Sport recognised a group of exceptional students who have not only excelled academically but have also made significant contributions to sport and physical activities during their time at the university. The impact of their involvement in sport goes far beyond the field, court, or track, influencing both their academic achievements and overall student experience. 

Image of 5 students standing in McEwan Hall in Graduation gowns with university sport kit underneath and equipment
L-R: Georgia Haynes, Hannah Campbell, Oscar Ukwizagira, Eilidh Campbell, Emma Olley

Among the standout graduates is Hannah Campbell, an accomplished triathlete, Medical Sciences student, and dedicated sports volunteer. Hannah's list of achievements include; 2022/23 Triathlon Club President, the Ewan Malcolm Student Coach of the Year 2022/23, and the Young Coach of the Year by Triathlon Scotland in 2021. Furthermore, she has served as the Sports Union CVA Intern and the Partnerships and Alumni Officer for the Sports Union Exec. Hannah's passion for sports and leadership qualities have been instrumental in driving the success of sports activities on campus. 

Oscar Ukwizagira has been a shining star in the Karate Club. His numerous accolades include the prestigious BUCS Dan Porter Award for an individual who has faced and overcome adversity or disadvantage to positively impact others within university sport and physical activity and a BUCS Championship title. Additionally, Oscar has played an essential role in fostering inclusion and diversity as the Inclusion Officer for the Sports Union Exec in both 2020/21 and 2021/22. Oscar graduates with a degree in Civil Engineering. 

Image of man in graduation robes wearing karate kit in McEwan Hall
Oscar Ukwizagira, BEng Civil Engineering

Golfer Max Holford has left an indelible mark on the university's sports community. Max's remarkable sporting prowess is evident in his exceptional win rate in the Scottish Premier Division, where he has triumphed in an impressive 70% of fixtures with a handicap of +0.9. Whilst studying for a degree in Pharmacology Max has also been an active volunteer for the Golf Club as 2021-22 Social Secretary and the 2022-23 Club President. 

Georgia Haynes, the 2022-23 Fencing Club President, has been an integral part of the university's fencing success. Her achievements include helping the team to victory in the BUCS Championships for 3 consecutive years and winning the BUCS Women's Fencing Premiership North League multiple times. Her dedication and skill have been pivotal in the performance team's triumphs. Reflecting on her time at Edinburgh University Georgia said,  

‘Fencing for the university has been an extremely valuable part of my university experience. Special thanks to the performance sport coaches who have supported my own development in the sport and our ongoing team successes.’  

Georgia Haynes
Georgia Haynes wearing graduate gown and fencing kit holding sabre in McEwan Hall by stained glass windows
Georgia Haynes, MA Geography

This year has also seen some exceptional graduates from the Ladies rugby club, such as Meryl Smith and Sarah Denholm. Meryl's talent earned her the title of BUCS Women's National League Player of the Season in 2022, and she boasts an impressive 9 caps for Scotland, and has recently been awarded a professional contract with Scottish Rugby. 

Sarah's leadership abilities are evident from her various roles within the Ladies Rugby Club, receiving the Captain ST Garner Trophy 2019-20 for a first-year student who makes the most outstanding contribution to university sport. Sarah has also represented Scotland Women's Rugby on the international stage whilst balancing a degree in Sociology. 

Sarah Denholm and Meryl Smith wearing graduate gowns and sport kit with arms crossed in McEwan Hall by stained glass windows
Sarah Denholm, MA Sociology and Meryl Smyth, BSc Biological Sciences (Zoology)

With a focus on sports and community building, three exceptional individuals have left a lasting impact on their respective clubs at the university. Whilst studying for a postgraduate diploma in Professional Legal Practice, Emma Olly, as the Snowsports Club's wellbeing and inclusion officer, has worked tirelessly to create a nurturing and safe environment for snowsports enthusiasts, ensuring everyone feels supported and valued. Her unwavering dedication has been instrumental in fostering a sense of belonging within the club.  

Meanwhile, Social Policy and Politics student Samantha Lim's role as president and social secretary of the Volleyball club has been fundamental to their string of achievements. Her efforts in building a vibrant and closely-knit community within the club have been invaluable.  

Whilst studying International Relations with Quantitative Methods, Caitlyn Dila's proactive advocacy for Swimming and Water Polo, initially as the Publicity and Alumni Officer and then as the 2022-23 Club President, has been paramount in promoting the sport and enhancing the overall sense of unity and camaraderie within the club.  

These three individuals stand as shining examples of how dedication and passion can shape a thriving and inclusive sports community within the university. 

Emma Olley wearing graduate gown and sports kit sitting on red leather chair in McEwan Hall with skis propped against chair
Emma Olley, PGD Professional Legal Practice

Georgia Adderley's journey at The University of Edinburgh exemplifies the perfect balance between academics and a promising squash career. As a Performance Sport Scholar, Georgia's dedication and talent allowed her to break into the top 50 world rankings for women's squash, a remarkable achievement. Serving as the 1st Team Captain during the 2021/22 season and achieving a world ranking of 48th further solidified her position as an outstanding athlete. Reflecting on her time at the university, Georgia said,  

“My time at The University of Edinburgh has been fantastic. The support of the university to play sport and study has been excellent and has set me up well for the future."   

Georgia Adderley


Fellow squash player and Performance Sport Scholar John Meehan has also been an asset to the Squash Club whilst studying Economics and Statistics. John has been an unstoppable force in the world of BUCS Scottish and UK Championships. Leading the Men's 1st Team as Captain, John's exceptional leadership has contributed to the team's unbeaten records across seasons, earning them a promotion to the prestigious BUCS Premier Division. 

John Meehan and Georgia Adderley wearing graduate gowns and sports kit holding squash rackets on McEwan Hall stage
John Meehan, MA Economics and Statistics and Georgia Adderley, BSc Applied Sport Science

Economics and Accounting graduate Eilidh Campbell's passion for Women's Hockey, showcases her remarkable achievements during her time at the university. From captaining the Women's Hockey 3XI in 2020/21 to becoming the Women's Hockey Club Captain in 2022/23, Eilidh's leadership skills and commitment have been evident throughout. Notably, her contributions as part of the 2nd team that reached the National Trophy finals for BUCS Big Wednesday added to the university's sporting success. For Eilidh, sport at Edinburgh has been a source of incredible opportunities as she stated,  

‘Sport at Edinburgh has given me many amazing opportunities that I feel very grateful for. I have met so many amazing friends and fostered many skills alongside my studies.” 

Eilidh Campbell


Alongside their studies in Applied Sport Science and Physical Education Eve and Claire have taken advantage of opportunities to work for Sport & Exercise through the student employment programme gaining experience and industry related professional development in one of the country’s leading and most diverse sport, fitness, and wellbeing settings. They have honed their skills and knowledge, equipping themselves with practical expertise that complements their studies. This hands-on experience within a dynamic and thriving environment has undoubtedly enhanced their understanding of the importance of sport and exercise, setting them on a path towards future success in their chosen careers.

Eve and Claire wearing graduate gown and sports kit on McEwan Hall staircase
Claire Fillingham, MA Physical Education and Eve Lawson-Statham, BSc Applied Sport Science

These exceptional graduates exemplify the positive impact of sports on the overall university experience. Their commitment, dedication, and achievements both on and off the field serve as an inspiration to future generations of students at The University of Edinburgh. As the university celebrates its 2023 Graduations, we proudly acknowledge these extraordinary individuals who have left a lasting legacy within the sports community and beyond.