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Performance Sport

Passion. Pride. Performance.

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Hello and welcome to Performance Sport

The Performance Sport scheme at The University of Sheffield is the pinnacle of sport for our students. We provide support for both elite and talented individual athletes, and our top performing clubs and teams in order to allow them all to succeed in their chosen sport whilst also maintaining academic excellence.

As a programme we aim to deliver an excellent student sporting experience through a wide range of opportunities to get involved, excel and celebrate sport and our athletes achievements.

Through this page you will be able to find details on both the Elite Sports Performance Scheme (individual athlete support) and our Performance Club scheme (interlinked with Club Sport and our BUCS teams), and if you have any questions you can always get in touch by checking who to contact on our contact us page.

Our Elite Sports Performance Scheme is the awards scheme aimed at our elite and talented individual athletes who compete at the highest National and International Levels in their chosen sport. We, at Sport Sheffield, are committed to delivering excellence, and the Elite Sports Performance Scheme aims to provide those talented and elite athletes studying at The University of Sheffield the opportunities and support they need to ensure they can be successful not only in the sporting arena, but in the academic one too.

The ESPS has three levels:

  • ESPS: Elite Athlete Development Pathway
    • This level is aimed at developing athletes who aren’t initially seen to quite meet the Level 1 or 2 standard but have the potential to do so with some extra support.
  • ESPS: Level 1
    • Level 1 is aimed at talented athletes representing on the national stage (see below for more detailed criteria).
  • ESPS: Level 2
    • Level 2 targets athletes who are extremely talented and are representing on the international stage (see below for more detailed criteria).

At Sport Sheffield we understand the rigours of trying to juggle academic life along with elite level sport and offer a package that is aimed at helping our athletes maintain a healthy and productive balance. All the different levels have access to various support programmes. The following table shows the difference in support available to each level.

Support EADP Level 1 Level 2
Strength and Conditioning Yes Yes Yes
Physiotherapy Discounted Discounted 10 Free Sessions
Lifestyle Mentoring/Sports Psychology Yes Yes Yes
Extra Funding Support (for events etc) Yes – Limited Yes Yes – but limited due to receiving £1000 award
Sports Nutrition Yes Yes Yes
Peak S10health Gym Membership - Yes Yes
Academic Flexibility (Department Dependent) Under extenuating circumstances Yes Yes
£1000 Award - - Yes - unless awarded free accommodation
One Year Free Accommodation - - Yes – 2 spaces awarded
Rewarded at the Annual Awards Night - Yes Yes

The ESPS Criteria:

EADP: Talented Developing Athlete

  • Representative Level:
    • Highly talented within an individual club and showing the potential to make representative squads
    • Or highly influential athlete within an individual club
    • Or being scouted for development pathways etc.
  • Should be willing to/already is representing The University of Sheffield sports team in the sport in which they compete (where appropriate and allowed by the National Squad)

Level 1: Talented National Athlete

  • Representative Level:
    • National Squad level (e.g. Country such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales etc.)
    • Or highly rated regional level/equivalent (e.g. North of England, Yorkshire etc.)
    • Or talented athlete development pathway (e.g. GB Rowing START Programme, GB Weightlifting Path to Beijing etc.)
    • Or full/development squad member of a professional/semi-professional team (e.g. Sheffield Eagles, Rotherham Titans, Sheffield FC etc.)
    • Or equivalent of the above (e.g. Elite or Category 1 Road Cycling etc.)
  • Should be willing to represent The University of Sheffield sports team in the sport in which they compete (where appropriate and allowed by the National Squad)


Level 2: International Athlete

  • Representative Level:
    • High National or International Squad Level (e.g. Great Britain etc. dependant on sport representative schemes)
    • TASS Athletes

Should be willing to represent The University of Sheffield sports team in the sport in which they compete (where appropriate and allowed by the National Squad)

All applicants who believe they fit the eligibility criteria should fill in the application form. Level 2 applicants will be considered for Level 1 if they are unsuccessful in achieving Level 2. Similarly, all athletes will be considered for the Development Pathway if unsuccessful at applying for Level 1 or 2.

Please note that all applications must be accompanied by a supporting statement that is either written by a current coach or a representative of the National Governing Body who can vouch for your level of representation. Applications without supporting statements will NOT be accepted and we, to ratify the support statement, may contact references.

Applications for the 2017/18 academic year have now CLOSED. Any applications received now will not be accepted.

Selection Process 

A selection panel consisting of senior Sport Sheffield staff, professional service colleagues and Students' Union representatives will consider your application. To make a decision the panel will take into account your sporting information, sporting achievements, sporting goals for the future and your supporting statement. The decision of the panel is discretionary and final.

When making their decision, the panel will give regard to the following:

  • Applicant is a registered student at the University of Sheffield
  • Applicant has provided a supporting statement from a coach or NGB representative
  • Applicant has clearly articulated their sporting achievements, current ranking/level and future ambitions. 
  • Applicant has identified clearly how the scholarship will be beneficial to her/his student experience and sporting endeavours. 
  • Applicant has clearly demonstrated how they will be an asset to Sport Sheffield and The University of Sheffield

The Performance Clubs Scheme is the support structure in place for the top clubs in the University of Sheffield. We concentrate on a small selection of clubs that we split across four different levels depending on their level of competition, club structure and ethic.

The 2016/17 Performance Clubs are:

  • Lead Performance:
    • Women’s Hockey
    • Women’s Rugby Union
    • Rugby League
    • Rowing
    • Volleyball
  • High Performance:
    • Futsal
    • Women’s Basketball
    • Men’s Hockey
  • Performance:
    • Men’s Basketball
    • Lacrosse
  • Development:
    • Korfball
    • Men’s Cricket
    • Women’s Cricket
    • Women’s Football

These clubs are selected against several strict criteria, in return they are benefited from the aid of an in depth support structure mirroring that of our Elite Sports Performance Scheme.

This support includes complimentary use of our dedicated strength and conditioning room with our fully qualified coaches. Each team will work with our coaches to develop a bespoke programme that fits their individual and sporting requirements. This will involve various aspects of sports performance enhancement and corrective exercise including functional movement analysis, appropriate testing along with periodized programming to fit around the season and University semesters.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding any area of our Performance Scheme then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To enquire about suitability to apply for the Elite Sports Performance Scheme or any other questions relating to Performance Sport please contact our Performance Sport Development Officer Simon Vardy via telephone on 0114 222 6981 or via e-mail through simon.vardy@sheffield.ac.uk.

Our scheme is also funded entirely through donations and partners. To discuss a donation please contact David Meadows, Development Officer – Legacies and Individual Giving via telephone on 0114 222 1073 or email through d.meadows@sheffield.ac.uk