25 June 2024

Abertay University judo star to represent UK at European Universities Games

Gregor Miller hopes to capitalise on run of success at next month’s multisport competition

An Abertay University student has been selected to represent the UK at one of Europe’s top university sporting events.

Judo star Gregor Miller, who is part of Abertay’s Elite Athlete Development Programme, hopes to continue his incredible run of form when he travels to Hungary to take part in the European Universities Games in July.

The 20-year-old, a third year BSc (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching student, qualified for the event after winning gold in the Men’s Under 100kg (1 Kyu and Above) category at the BUCS Judo Championships in February.

It comes following a run of success which saw Gregor come first in his category at Judo’s 2023 Scottish National Closed Championship, third at the 2023 British Junior and Senior Championships and second at the 2024 Scottish Open Championships.

The European Universities Games are held every two years. It is the largest university multi-sport games event in Europe.

Gregor, who is from Perth and began his sporting career aged five with Tayside Judo Club, said it will be an honour to represent Abertay, Scotland and the UK on the European stage.

He added:

It’s amazing to be in this position and to be representing Abertay abroad. I’ve represented the UK and Scotland abroad before, but to be able to represent my university, Scotland and the UK abroad, all in one, is really cool. I’ve just become a senior so I’m now a small fish in a big pond. Getting the chance to compete abroad at a senior level - where there is going to be high-level athletes from all around Europe - is a great opportunity for me, and one of my best achievements this year. My preparation is coming along well. My numbers in the gym are starting to come up. I’m getting sharp on the mat as well. My techniques are starting to feel sharp and feel fast which is good. I’m really looking forward to the competition now. Judo is one of the toughest sports out there. It’s very physically demanding and it’s mentally tough as well. If you make a mistake in the first five seconds, that’s you finished. I think that’s what draws me to the sport, how tough it is. It’s like no other sport. It’s exhilarating.

Abertay’s Elite Athlete Development Programme supports students balancing athletic careers with university life. It helps with everything from strength and conditioning to nutrition, lifestyle management and financial assistance for travel associated with competitions and training.

Gregor said:

The Abertay Elite Athlete Development Programme (EADP) has been great. It allows me academic flexibility when I’ve got competitions, training camps, etc. It also allows me a few extensions and helps me financially to fund some of my training camps and competitions, which is really helpful. I also get a full gym membership so after a class I can just nip in and do some training on campus before heading home, which is very handy. My judo career also goes hand-in-hand with my studies at Abertay. I would recommend studying Sports Development and Coaching to anyone out there with a passion for sports and exercise. It offers practical experience, such as work placements and internships, that helps put theory into practice. I plan on using my degree as a pathway into a job in the industry.

Abertay Sports Development Officer Michael Devlin said

We at Abertay Sport are immensely proud of Gregor’s achievements. Gregor has been enrolled on the EADP since joining Abertay three years ago. It's been great to see his commitment to his sport and the continued progression in his level of performance. Gregor has gone from strength to strength while also keeping up with all his academic commitments. I am happy the EADP has helped with this in some way and I am very excited to see what Gregor can do at this level. All of us at Abertay will be keeping our fingers crossed for him.

The European Universities Games will take place across the cities of Debrecen and Miskolc in Hungary from July 12 to 24.

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