Wednesday 1st February 2023

Want to know more about Cross Country before joining a society? Here’s a quick overview of the sport and what SSS has to offer.

Cross Country is a style of long-distance running. Unique to the sport, Cross Country takes place on natural terrain, usually found within the countryside area. This means that runners may potentially run along roads, grass, mud and wet areas. Cross Country was first introduced in 19th century England and has become a very popular school sport.

The rules of Cross Country are very simple. A group of runners compete against each other to run along a course (typically 4-12km), which can either be one long track or a lapped shorter track. In individual races, the winner is the racer who reaches the finish line first. In team races, the winner is determined by the placement of each team’s individual racer. The team with the highest average placement will be deemed the winner. There is also a more immediately accessible version of Cross Country called the slow race, the goal of which is to finish in last place without stopping.

Cross Country has a peculiar relationship with the Olympics. The sport was contested between 1912-24 but fell into controversy after a heatwave at the 1924 Paris Games where some runners fell unconscious under the heat with two runners falsely being reported as having died. Cross Country does still exist in the Olympics, being a discipline in the Modern Pentathlon event.

The most prestigious Cross Country event is the IAAF Cross Country Championships. In the 2019 edition, all gold medals were won by athletes from either Ethiopia, Kenya or Uganda. The last medal won by Great Britain at the event was the Junior Women’s 6km team event, where they gained bronze.

Cross Country is a very popular sport with many events for potential runners. These include the Winter League, Cross Country Championship, 5km Relay Championship, Half Marathon Championship, 10km Road Race Championship, Hill Running Championship and Inter-District Championships. So, there is plenty of opportunities to get involved.

To learn more, click the following link: Cross Country – Scottish Student Sport

If you’re interested in joining a Cross Country club, click the following links (note, these are mostly Athletics societies, so it is best to contact them about Cross Country before joining):


Abertay University:

City of Glasgow College:

Edinburgh College:

Edinburgh Napier University:

Glasgow Caledonian University:–8

Heriot-Watt University:


University of Aberdeen:

University of Dundee:

University of Edinburgh:

University of Glasgow:

University of St. Andrews:

University of Stirling:

University of Strathclyde:


Sports Chair: Gregor Malcolm –

Governing Body: Scottish Athletics –

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Tuesday 17th January 2023

Megan Keith took home the gold at the Scottish Inter-District XC in Perth last Saturday. Read all about it down below!

Megan Keith and Jamie Crowe took home the gold at the Scottish Inter-District XC in Perth last Saturday, 14th January. Following her recent silver medal at the U23 European Cross-Country Championships, Scottish Student Athlete Megan Keith completed the 8k race in 28:58 with a 14 second victory. In second place was Fionnuala Ross representing the West of Scotland, quickly followed by GB international and Scottish Student Athlete Alice Goodall.

The treacherous conditions didn’t make it easy, with Megan commenting in a scottishathletics post-race interview “The hills and the mud certainly made it a tough one. I was cautious over the first lap and a half, and then I tried to put in a hard last lap, but the conditions made that harder today.”

Jamie Crowe made his comeback last week at Bathgate in the East League after a 10 month break due to injury. Now securing his third win at the Scone Palace, Crowe finished the race with a time of 24:55, 10 seconds ahead of runner up Kristian Jones, while James Kingston came in third place. Pleased with his performance, Crowe stated that “I have surprised myself over the past eight days to be honest.”

Scottish Student Sport were thrilled to have thirty student athletes partaking in the event as part of the SSS National Squad, with 15 male and 15 female runners representing SSS. The highest placed Scottish Student Athlete in the senior men’s goes to Callum Tharme, who came in 10th place with a time of 25:58.

Megan and Jamie will be keeping their fingers crossed for selection for the upcoming World Cross in Australia.

See the full Scottish Athletics Article here and the results here.

And check out the Scottish Athletics Youtube Channel here to watch all the races!

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Scottish Athletics for hosting the event, the Officials for helping to make it happen and to Mark Nixon, SS Cross Country National Squad Team Manager.


Monday 6th June 2022

The final SSS Medal Table of the 2021/22 season is here!

The SSS Medal Table is a method for institutions to see how successful their student-athletes have been over the course of the SSS season.

The table includes all events in which medals have been awarded during the 2021/22 season.

All semester 1 and 2 events which took place have been added.

The table defaults to alphabetical but can be sorted by any of the column headings.


SSS Medal Table 2021/22

Abertay University43
Ayrshire College112
Borders College11
City of Glasgow College4217
Edinburgh College224
Edinburgh Napier University4217
Fife College1427
Glasgow Caledonian University96318
Heriot Watt University10111334
Queen Margaret University123
Robert Gordon University510722
Scotland's Rural College112
University of Aberdeen23361978
University of Dundee34212075
University of Edinburgh876652205
University of Glasgow466245153
University of St Andrews714138150
University of Stirling433731111
University of Strathclyde32333398
University of the West of Scotland116623
Z-Guest Entries12111538


Total Events: 73 (88% of planned activity)

Last Updated: June 2022


Thursday 26th May 2022

Students shone at Stirling as they took on the epic Monument Mile challenge

Men's Monument Mile Podium 2021-2022

The Monument Mile has established itself as a special event over time and this year’s iteration certainly lived up to that expectation. Records were broken, inspired by the brilliant crowd that came out to support the athletes, and students showcased their talent brilliantly.

It is an age-old simple, yet challenging concept the event is based on: who can run the mile the fastest? 35 students from 8 institutions joined runners from across the country as they attempted to answer that question on 20th May.

The athletes were set off in races seeded by personal best times round the University of Stirling track – warming up the crowd almost as much as the flame machines at the side of the track – as we edged ever closer to the eagerly anticipated Elite Men’s and Women’s races.

The Women’s Elite Race was a spectacular race, with all barring one athlete finishing in under 5 minutes. Overall 1st and 2nd place runners were Niamh Carr and Katie Lowery respectively (both University of Edinburgh) who controlled their race, utilising the pace set by others and putting in a brilliant kick in the final 200m. As Niamh took the Elite Women’s Prize, the student prizes were awarded to Katie Lowery, Hannah Anderson and Kirsty Purcell in top-down order. With Hannah and Kirsty also from Edinburgh, the famous Haries green decorated the podium!

It was then all eyes on the Men’s Elite Race which featured 4 student men battling for the overall prizes as well as the student prizes. Ben MacMillan (University of Stirling) took to the front of the pack to help lead the race behind the pacer and Kieran Reilly (University of Stirling) joined him to maintain a stunning pace. It was a kick at the 400m mark from Ben MacMillan, coupled with windless conditions, that sealed a brilliant win in under 4 minutes! This makes Ben the first Scot to break the 4-minute mile time in Scotland since 1985 and was also a Meeting Record. Kieran did enough to seal second place, holding off Jack Patton from Kilbarchan, whilst Kristof Hornyik (University of St Andrews) and Ben Sandilands (Scottish rural College) also had superb runs. With Ben claiming the Elite Men’s prize, the student men’s medals went to Kieran Reilly, Kristof Hornyik, and Ben Sandilands.

A Student Team Prize was awarded to the 4 student runners from one institution who achieved the fastest overall cumulative time. This went to University of Edinburgh runners Niamh Carr, Katie Lowery, Callum Tharme and Blayne Wright.

Massive thanks to Michael Wright and the rest of the Monument Mile team for partnering with SSS this year to provide a student championships within the competition, we look forward to working with you again. Thank you also to the officials and volunteers who gave their time to support the event!

You can catch up on the action via the recorded YouTube LiveStream HERE and photos HERE. Full results can be found HERE.

All images used in this article courtesy of Bobby Gavin.


Thursday 28th April 2022

It’s Awards Season again!! We are now accepting nominations for the 2021/22 SSS Awards! Read on for more information on the different award categories, the nomination process and where the winners will be crowned.

We are delighted to announce that the SSS 2021/22 Awards are officially open!

With a return to activity, this year the Executive Committee have decided that we should revert back to our usual set of awards. We are really looking forward to receiving all the fantastic nominations.

The Awards 

We are accepting individual nominations in the following five categories:

  • Female Athlete of the Year- Aimed at high performance female student athletes, whether or not they compete for their college or university. This will be awarded to a female individual for outstanding sporting achievement at the highest level during the 2021-22 season (April 2021 – April 2022) while making a tangible contribution to the institution.
  • Male Athlete of the Year- Aimed at high performance male student athletes, whether or not they compete for their college or university. This will be awarded to a male individual for outstanding sporting achievement at the highest level during the 2021-22 season (April 2021- April 2022) while making a tangible contribution to the institution.
  • Volunteer of the Year- Aimed at students and non-students who volunteer at a local level. This is not aimed at volunteers primarily in a SSS role (please see Dr Rob Macpherson Award); coaches (see Coach of the Year); paid staff going the extra mile (see Honorary President’s Medal). This will be awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to student sport at a local level during the 2021-22 year. The contribution may be in many forms such as exceptional active or administrative services to a club, college, or university; as a faithful club servant, committee member, leader; official; or purely down to their love of sport. Volunteers purely in a coaching capacity should be nominated for the Coach of the Year award.
  • Coach of the Year- Aimed at those who coach student sport/ student athletes at any level of performance. They may be either volunteer coaches or paid coaches. Not aimed at professional coaches based in Higher Education for whom student athletes are not the main focus. This award will be given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to student sport by coaching during the 2021-22 season. Good quality coaching; innovative ideas; dedication to the sport; and a drive to continually improve their own skills are features of an outstanding coach.
  • Honorary Presidents Medal- Aimed at any individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to/lasting impact on student sport at a local, regional or national level. Nominees should be regarded as wonderful examples/ advocates of student sport and their behaviour should resonate with the above SSS values.

We are accepting group nominations in the following two categories:

  • Club of the Year- Aimed at the all-round best performing Club, on and off the field of play. Not aimed at clubs that have had a successful competition year only. This will be awarded to a club that can demonstrate impact in the 2021-22 season. Increasing memberships, upping participation, innovative projects, developing volunteers, promoting the role of officials; fundraising, community links and involvement in institution activity are just certain elements that would demonstrate excellence.
  • Team of the Year- Aimed at the most successful, high performing student teams in the country, whether within SSS/BUCS competition or further afield. Not aimed at a team that performs to the fullest of its potential in the lower levels of competition e.g. a third team that has a 100% season is still unlikely to win this award. This will be awarded to a team for outstanding sporting achievement at the highest level during the 2021-22 season (April 2021-April 2022). This can include international performances.
  • The final award is the Dr Rob Macpherson Award. This award differs slightly from the rest of our awards – there are no nominations, instead, the winner is selected by the SSS staff team as opposed to the Executive Committee. The award is aimed at any individual who has made an outstanding contribution to volunteering with Scottish Student Sport.

Check out our 2020/21 award winners here! 🏆

The Details

  • Nominations for each category should be a maximum of 500 words.
  • Institutions can nominate in as many categories as they wish, but may only put forward one entry per category.
  • Past winners can receive the same award again.
  • Only member institutions can nominate. All member institutions have been sent login details to the online portal where nominations should be submitted.
  • Nominations close on THURSDAY 12th MAY at 18:00 and the Executive Council will then decide on the winners.
  • Winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner on Wednesday 8th June, as part of the SSS Conference.
  • Please contact Totty with any queries.

Monday 29th November 2021

Students braved the cold at Craigmillar Castle. Read the report from the Scottish Student Cross Country Championships here!

Craigmillar Castle Park was the venue for the Scottish Student Cross Country Championships which took place on Saturday 27th of November. This year’s course took a fresh take on the 2016 course offering an undulating 3 lap challenge that saw 102 men and 46 women compete over the two #RunEqual 7.7km races.

There were Championship wins for Holly Page of Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds and Christian Graham (University of Dundee).

In the women’s race, Holly Page took an early lead that continued to grow across the race – her hill running prowess giving her the upper hand around Craigmillar. There was a close contest for second place which saw Sarah Tait (University of Stirling) finish ahead of Holly Little (Queen Margaret University) in third.

In the men’s race, Christian Graham (University of Dundee) and Matt Knowles (Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds) had a tough battle over the three laps. Graham eventually took an impressive win after pulling away to a 15-second lead in the final lap. Jamie Burns (University of Glasgow came home to bag the bronze medal.

For the team result, the first 4 athletes of each institution counted. The Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds team – Holly Page, Kirsty Purcell, Caitlin Purcell, and Emma Gill – continued to show their dominance on the senior women’s cross-country scene taking a convincing team title. They were followed by the University of Glasgow team who were led to second place by Lynn McKenna in 7th place and Matilda Cornell, Charlotte McKenna and Clare Stewart.  Bronze was awarded to the University of Aberdeen whose team was topped by Zoe Bates in 9th place and was completed by Margarita Radeva, Emma Jenkins and Caitlin Arnott.

The Men’s Team results were breathtakingly close, with only 5 points separating the top three spots. Led by individual bronze medallist, Jamie Burns, it was the University of Glasgow who topped the podium with great runs from Magnus Tait, Cameron Fordyce and Philip Neilson. The University of Edinburgh just managed to stay ahead of Stirling with only 1 point separating them overall. Well done to the silver medallists (Matt Knowles, Harry Henriksen, Callum Tharme and Ruaridh Mon-Williams) who fought off the speed of Kieran Reilly, Calum Phillip, Matthew Sutherland and Hamish Hickey.

The prize for Best Overall Institution went to the University of Edinburgh with medals in each category sealing the deal!

Thank you to the City of Edinburgh Parks Department for the breathtaking venue for the Championships. Thanks also to the volunteers and officials, without whom the event would not have happened. Results were provided by the team at Keep It Simple Timing who did a fantastic job on the day. First Aid was provided by Burnside Events First Aid Ltd who, thankfully, had a quiet day! Shout-out to Edinburgh University Hare and Scottish Athletics who helped organise and run the event. Most of all, thank you to all competitors for attending and making the event a success.

You can check out the full results HERE. The official event photos were taken by Michael Philps. Women’s photos can be found HERE and Men’s photos can be found HERE


Wednesday 26th May 2021

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020/21 SSS Awards! This year we have revamped our awards line-up with six brand new awards up for grabs! Find out more here.

We are delighted to announce that the SSS 2020/21 Awards are officially open!

This year we are doing things a little bit differently. As opposed to our usual individual and club awards, this year our awards will be based on the SSS values! Given the unusual and challenging year that everyone has faced, we wanted to recognise the incredible work and many success stories across our sector and celebrate the amazing people involved in student sport in Scotland.

The awards will therefore be based on the SSS values and we are looking for nominations for the following categories: Ambitious, Collaborative, Inclusive, Innovative, Responsive, Sustainable, Honorary President’s Medal. An additional eight award, the Dr Rob Macpherson SSS Volunteer of the year award, will be selected by the SSS staff.

The Awards 

We are accepting nominations in the following categories:

  • Ambitious – Who is this aimed at? Unsung heroes – juggling multiple projects/things at once.
  • Collaborative – Who is this aimed at? Best online learning resource/best practice sharing, coaching and officiating,  Zoom webinars.
  • Inclusive – Who is it aimed at? An inclusion champion – someone who has made their sport more accessible and available to all.
  • Innovative – Who is it aimed at? Those who have been exceptionally innovative and creative – i.e using Zoom workouts, creating new podcasts, performance athlete finding new ways to train.
  • Responsive – Who is it aimed at? Examples of best practice in adapting to COVID, new ways of working and flexibility.
  • Sustainable – Who is it aimed at? Sustainability champions – people/groups that have incorporated sustainability into their clubs/work.

The above awards can be won by individuals or groups, so please feel free to submit nominations for both outstanding individuals and student sports clubs!

  • Honorary Presidents Medal – This award is for any individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to/lasting impact on student sport at a local, regional or national level. Nominees should be regarded as wonderful examples/ advocates of student sport and their behaviour should resonate with the above SSS values.
  • The final award is the Dr Rob Macpherson Award. This award differs slightly from the rest of our awards – there are no nominations, instead, the winner is selected by the SSS staff team as opposed to the Executive Committee. The award is aimed at any individual who has made an outstanding contribution to volunteering with Scottish Student Sport.

Check out our 2019/20 award winners here! 🏆

The Details

  • Nominations for each category should be a maximum of 500 words.
  • Institutions can nominate as many groups or individuals in any category as they like.
  • Only member institutions can nominate. All member institutions have been sent login details to the online portal where nominations should be submitted.
  • Nominations close on MONDAY 7th JUNE at 18:00 and winners will be announced in July as part of the SSS Month of Celebration.
  • Please contact Totty with any queries.

Tuesday 27th April 2021

On Sunday 25th April, in the Glasgow sunshine, members of the SSS Tribe took part in the Jog Leaders training through SSS’ collaboration with Jog Scotland and Scottish Athletics.

The Leadership in Running Fitness course is delivered regularly by Jog Scotland and, through collaboration, individuals from SSS member institutions were able to participate at a discounted rate. The course comprises of a number of theory modules and a practical session, which in this instance was taken at Scotstoun in Glasgow. Having staff and students with this kind of qualification will allow institutions to be prepared to harness the increased interest in recreational running that we have seen over the past year.

jogscotland is Scotland’s recreational running network and is part of scottishathletics. It is made up of hundreds of jogging groups meeting in sports centres, community halls, parks and businesses, and jogging on their local paths, pavements and trails. The emphasis at every jogscotland group is on enjoying exercise and supporting one another in a friendly atmosphere. Groups are led by qualified Jog Leaders (mostly volunteers), who guide and inspire their members. Nobody is “too slow” to join jogscotland. Groups are available for walkers, joggers and runners of all levels, from complete beginners to long-distance runners.

Here’s what participants had to say:

I signed up because running is something that I enjoy and have an interest in. Having this training will help me to encourage and motivate others when I begin leading running groups in my local area with fellow students at New College Lanarkshire but also the wider community. The course was very informative and enjoyable, and the tutors on the day were fun and encouraging. Helping others to improve their fitness, health and wellbeing is important to me as an individual and as a student. 

Kellyann McGraith (HND Fitness, Health and Exercise @ New College Lanarkshire)

The course is ideal for us as it allows us to engage students at Glasgow in the new beginners jogging groups we are setting up.  We have noticed that our members are keen to exercise outdoors as much as possible and the social, physical and mental benefits of these activities is invaluable.

Calum Hill (Active Lifestyles Lead @ University of Glasgow)


Wednesday 16th December 2020

Inspiration, innovation and collaboration at every corner. These were some of the key themes that emerged from the SSS 2020 Festive Gathering. Over 70 members tuned into the virtual gathering and were treated to thought-provoking discussion, high-quality guest speakers and plenty of Festive Fun! Read all about it here!

In a change to tradition and a fitting tribute to 2020, the SSS Festive Gathering was delivered virtually this year with over 70  members across the tribe tuning in to hear from a panel of world-class athletes and leaders in sport.

Whilst the virtual gathering was a first of its kind, the longstanding tradition of participants wearing festive jumpers remained true – with some fantastic outfits on show throughout the afternoon. None more so than panelist Robyn Love (pictured below) in what is undoubtedly a candidate for the most festive photo of the year.

After an energising welcome from SSS Chair Pete Burgon, a brief review of the year gone by and finances approved – our attendees were met by two equally inspiring and thought-provoking discussions from our special guests.

First up, the Road to Tokyo panel, where SSS Head of Competitions Chris Purdie, was joined by three athletes whose experiences through student sport had helped shape their career path and their journey to next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Neah Evans (Cycling), Megan Gaffney (Rugby) and Robyn Love (Wheelchair Basketball) discussed how their positive student sport experiences helped them reach where they are today. From balancing the workload of their studies with the pressure of performing in their sport and also trying to keep up a social life in the process, the panelists spoke honestly and fondly of their student days.

All three touched upon the huge sacrifices required to make it at the top level and acknowledged the vital support they received from their institutions and staff during their time at University. This support has been vital to them and many other young athletes looking to achieve their potential while also studying and preparing for their future.

The panel discussed the importance of resilience and “bounce-back ability” that the challenges of Coronavirus and lockdown caused before previewing what promises to be a jam-packed and exciting year of sport in 2021.

All three have very real and promising hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games and everyone at SSS wishes Megan, Robyn and Neah every success for 2021 and beyond.

Following this inspirational panel, the next section was packed full of ambition, innovation and collaboration at every corner: An Audience with Jan Paterson.

Jan is currently Managing Director Sport for Neom, delivering a bold new vision of future living. Neom is being designed as a global city for global citizens and Jan’s role is to engrain sport and physical activity in the lives of residents. In the future city, citizens will never be more than 8 minutes from a sports facility and physical activity will be an integral part of the curriculum.

Jan herself is a pioneer and her experiences in leadership roles were a great learning opportunity for our audience. She spoke of the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, and the significance of bottom-up team building. We also heard some great stories of her times at the World University Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

To round off the day and in true 2020 style, the SSS Tribe were treated to a Zoom Quiz of the Year courtesy of Pete Burgon. This gave everyone a chance to show off their best Christmas jumpers, share some “funny” Christmas jokes and engage in some much needed festive cheer.

We would like to wish everyone a restful festive break and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.


Wednesday 9th September 2020

Check out the highlights from our first-ever virtual Chair Development Day and meet your new and returning SSS Sports Chairs!

Last Sunday (6th September 2020) Scottish Student Sport hosted the first-ever virtual Chair Development Day! A total of 35 volunteers across 28 of our sports engaged in a zoom-based training day designed to equip them with all the necessary tools to tackle the upcoming 2020/21 season.

Throughout the day, the eager volunteers were treated to a series of different workshops delivered by the SSS staff touching upon a little bit of everything and anything. Including; introductions to the staff team, planning the return to play for student sport, how to encourage growth and participation levels within their sport, student mental health, all things social media and communications,  and engaging discussion surrounding where student sport fits in the wider student landscape.

In another first, the workshop was opened up to include not only sports chairs themselves but also other members of each sports development committees. This enabled vice-chairs and other officers to learn, engage and contribute to the conversation around planning for the next 12 months and beyond!

Despite not being able to meet in person, in true SSS fashion, everyone on the call grasped the opportunity to get to know each other, collaborate with one another and share best practice. We can’t wait to see some of your fantastic ideas in action. We hope all our volunteers found the day beneficial and are feel better prepared to grasp their unique opportunity and tackle season 2020/21!

Meet your sports chairs and find out what they made of the day!  🎥👇