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UEL welcomes outstanding sports scholars

Men Basketball

New cohort of sports scholars inspired by former champions

By Lee Pinkerton
The University of East London (UEL) celebrated its latest crop of sports scholars with a formal induction into UELSport's High Performance Programme.
The University is sponsoring 153 student athletes this year, including world junior champion 200m sprinter Jona Efoloko; junior BUCS 110m hurdling champion Khai Riley La Borde; European Under-20 200m champion Maya Bruney; and European champion seated shot putter Vanessa Wallace.

UEL's chair of the Board of Governors, Geoff Thompson MBE, a former world champion in karate, told the students at their induction, “Here at UEL we are about the scholar athlete.  Please value the opportunity you are getting.  There is no greater opportunity than what you are about to embark on and make use of."
UEL has worked hard to established itself as one of the leading universities in the UK for elite sport. In 2017-18 UELSports enjoyed its most successful year ever, rising to 39th out of 151 institutions in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) league table.
The induction also featured Paralympic power lifter Ali Jawad. A world champion and world record-holder, Ali studied Sport and Exercise Science at UEL. He became one of the stars of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia after he earned widespread attention with a flamboyant celebration after he won bronze in the men’s lightweight category. 
Ali told the sports scholars that UEL has been a critical part of him realising his dreams.
He said, “UEL offered me a chance. When I got dropped from the national team and had no support, they were willing to support my dream. They offered me not only top strength and conditioning coaches and a facility I could train at, but also an education, so that if I didn’t end up attaining my sporting ambitions, I’d still have something to aim for. 
"UEL believed in me at a time when I doubted myself. Six years later I came back with a silver medal from the Paralympic games, but if it wasn’t for the support that I got here, I probably wouldn’t have even attempted it. 
"You are in a very lucky position – you have some of the best support that’s available in the country.”