Honours scholarship student graduates

WHITERASHES student, Rebecca Stephen (21), who won a sports scholorship to see her through her studies, graduated from Robert Gordon University with a BSC in Sports and Exercise Science recently, gaining a Second Class Honours (Division 1).

Commenting, she said: “It’s brilliant, but absolutely terrifying at the same time. There’s a feeling of having to grow up now, get a job and enter the real world. I have started looking for jobs but at the moment I’m just doing horses full time and I intend to do that until the end of the summer.”

Rebecca has had an extremely successful career in equestrian sport, having represented Scotland at International level in dressage and show jumping and currently competes in British Eventing CCI **. She explained: “I teach freelance and ride and school horses for others but I don’t see that as being my job for life – you work very hard for very little financial gain and because I’m eventing my own horse at British Eventing Intermediate level, it means travelling further to competitions. Entry fees are high and diesel is extortionate, so I need to be earning more to fund it.”

Having had a chaotic year completing her degree and maintaining the fitness of two competition horses, Rebecca said: “Ideally I would like to go into sports injuries or rehabilitative work, or work with children and adults with disabilities – encouraging them to participate in sport even though they are handicapped in some way.

I’d probably have to further my education by doing some post graduate courses, so for now I’m happy working the horses. I’ll take the opportunities I have at the moment and go from there.

Thankful for the help and opportunities her scholarship gave her, she said: “I had the benefit of the sports scholarship throughout my degree which helped me academically and with financial support with my sporting activities, as well as a number of valuable resources.

“It definitely allowed me to keep going, so I’m massively grateful for it.

Rebecca will be competing at Hopetoun International Horse Trials at the end of the month.