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Performance Sport

Passion. Pride. Performance.


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.

The Elite Sports Performance Scheme is the support structure in place to help high level athletes studying at The University of Sheffield to continue all the behind the scenes work that needs to be done to maintain athletic performance, whilst still maximising their academic studies. This support structure includes staff, facilities and funding that is only accessible to ESPS and Performance Club Athletes.

“To provide support for, and help develop, high performance athletes studying at the University of Sheffield.”

Support Level 1 Level 2 Catalyst Accommodation Award
Strength and Conditioning Yes Yes Yes
Physiotherapy Free consultation, discounted thereafter Free consultation, discounted thereafter Free consultation, discounted thereafter
Lifestyle Mentoring (Psychology and Nutrition) Yes Yes Yes
Peak S10health Gym Membership Yes Yes Yes
£1000 Award - Yes -
One Year Free Accommodation - - Yes*

*Athletes must be living in the correct accommodation for that academic year in order to be eligible for this award. Please contact the Performance Sport Development Officer for more details.

The ESPS Criteria:

Level 2 Tier:

  • Senior International (GB or equivalent)
  • Top Junior International (GB or equivalent)
  • TASS Athlete (Has to be GB or equivalent representation)
  • Sport Specific e.g. Road Cycling – Elite Category for at least 12 months

Level 1 Tier:

  • International/National Representation (GB, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland or equivalent)
  • Professional/Semi-Professional/High Level Academy:
    • For example:
      • Rugby Union: Regular Premiership Club Academy player, regular player in a National League 1 or above club
      • Rugby League: Regular Super League Academy player, regular player in a Championship or above club
      • Football: Regular Academy or player at full time, professional EFL club
      • Road cycling Specific – Category 1 or above
    • GB Development Pathways (e.g. Rowing’s England Talent Pathway, Swimming Pathway to Podium etc.)
    • High Level County (Sport dependant)
    • TASS Athlete

Please note, these criteria are guidelines, representing GB, or equivalent, as a senior international does not guarantee you a Level 2. All athletes who are awarded a place on the scheme are expected to represent The University of Sheffield wherever possible.

Applications for the 2019/20 academic year are now closed. Application dates for 2020/2021 will be confirmed and open in early 2020.

Please be aware of the changes outlined below to the application process for the Elite Sports Performance Scheme. Especially please make sure you are applying through the appropriate link for your years of study.

Undergraduates (Current and Potential)

The closing date for undergraduate applications is 5pm, Monday 1st April 2019.

Students will be notified by the end of April if they have a provisional offer of a place on the ESPS.

To apply please click HERE


The closing date for postgraduate applications is 5pm, Friday 31st May 2019.

Students will be notified by the end of June if they have a provisional offer of a place on the ESPS.

To apply please click HERE

Spaces are very limited on the scheme so we advise athletes to apply only if they believe they match the guideline criteria as much as possible and provide as much clear and detailed information on their sporting achievements and level of competition in order to help the selection panel make their decision. 


Applications during clearing will be open on Thursday 15th August and close 5pm, Monday 2nd September 2019.

Students will be notified by the end of September if they have been offered a place on the ESPS.

Please note, there are very limited spaces remaining on the scheme for 2019/20.

To apply please click HERE

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 and achievements (based against a points system), sporting goals for the future and your supporting statement. The panel decision is final.

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

  • Applicant is a registered student at the University of Sheffield or has an offer to study 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

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

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