The Strathclyde University Sports Union covers about any sport you can think of. Huge numbers of students sign up and become involved with sports at the University, and some are already accomplished in their fields of sport before they arrive at the institution. Jess Liddon is one of these people.
Recently returned from a year at Syracuse University in New York, Liddon was part of a fellowship programme between the University and Lockerbie Academy to memorialize the 35 Syracuse students tragically killed in the Lockerbie Air Disaster in 1988. Whilst there, she actively took part in rowing:
“I got totally hooked” says Jess, “I would be training like 12 to 15 times a week, up at 05:30 each morning before class; it was good to broaden my horizons and do something new.”
Studying electronic engineering, Jess is now in first year at Strathclyde after her year abroad, but there is far more to this Strathclyde student than that. Alongside her sister she recently competed for Great Britain at the World University Shooting Championships.
“At the start of September I went out to Kazan in Russia for the World University Shooting Championships, a tester event for the World University Games in July 2013. We took four rifle shooters, two pistol shooters and a shot-gunner, and my sister and I were chosen as the pistol shooters. The volunteers were fantastic, but the competition was still in the process of getting set up but I’m really excited to get out there next year and see the finished product.”
While for some, the sport of shooting may not be the first on their list, Jess speaks of it with a passion and energy that many, myself included, do not seem to put into sports that they do take part in. Her passion has catapulted her to a very high level however, and she is interested in attracting others to engage in the sport of shooting.
“It’d be nice to have a university shooting club. Have people to train with, and give something back to the university itself, as they have been very supportive of me.”
It is clear that shooting is certainly her passion, and thus setting up a club for that very purpose is high on the agenda for her.
“The Sports Union seems to have a club for pretty much everything, and willing to do something about it if not. All the experiences I’ve had are really positive and there is a lot of enthusiasm.”
The enthusiasm that Jess herself, and the Sports Union have for sport in general, must bode well for both parties. In Jess, there is a charismatic, successful young girl with a bright future ahead of her, and that can only benefit the University, the Sports Union, and any aspiring shooters looking to be involved with the sport at University. So what lies ahead for Jess in relation to sport at Strathclyde?
“Hopefully I’ll be here for five years, be able to set up a shooting club and build upon it in those five years. Then when I leave it’d be great if it could continue and not just die a death, if in the future you’d have representatives from Strathclyde at Championships and what not.”
Strathclyde has an illustrious history of successful sports stars, and an enormous variety of sport clubs. The positive influence sports and the sports union have on the University as a whole is encouraging, as is the eagerness of the participating students.
With the emergence of a vastly talented young sportswoman, with a sport new to Strathclyde, it seems like that illustrious list may just have gotten longer.
By Adam Sword