Eilish McColgan To Be Awarded Honorary Degree By University Of Dundee
Athletics - Commonwealth Games: Day 6
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Eilish McColgan To Be Awarded Honorary Degree By University Of Dundee

Seth Nobes November 10, 2022

Eilish McColgan has got recognition by the University of Dundee having earned her place in British hearts when she sent the Alexander Stadium into raptures and won Commonwealth gold for Scotland in the 10,000 metres at Birmingham 2022.

Every voice in the stadium was behind the runner as she fought off challenges from Kenya’s Irine Cheptai, launching an attack to no response despite trailing by a metre with just 250 metres to go.

Her efforts, not just at the Birmingham 2022 Games, but throughout her career, are now being recognised by the University of Dundee in the form of an honorary doctorate.

Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

It’s a Family Affair

Her victory was special for more than one reason. In addition to a home nations athlete trumiphing on British soil, Commonwealth Games gold medals actually run in her family.

When she stepped up onto the podium to have her well-deserved gold medal placed around her neck, another addition was made to the McColgan family collection.

Eilish’s mum, Liz Nuttall, also won gold in the 10,000 metres at both the Edinburgh 1986, and Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games.

As well as replicating her mum’s victory, Eilish also broke the 10,000 metres Games record Liz had set in Auckland, 32 years ago.

Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

The success did not end there. Just a few days later, McColgan returned to the track, and again left with a medal around her neck. This time the colour was silver; the event was the 5,000 metres.

McColgan did not burst onto the scene in Birmingham; in fact, the 2022 edition was her fourth Commonwealth Games. A career of hard work has been immortalised by a 250 metre effort after over 30 minutes of extreme effort. This has been recognised by her alma mater, the University of Dundee.

Honorary Degree

McColgan attended the University of Dundee, starting her degree in Maths and Accountancy in 2008. However, she was not unable to complete her studies, as a result of her being called up to the Team GB Athletics squad for the London 2012 Olympics.

Again, she will be following in the footsteps of her mother, who has also been awarded a honorary graduate from the University.

Despite being unable to finish her degree at Dundee, McColgan did compete for the University of Dundee during her time. In 2011, at the Scottish University Championships, she won a gold medal in the 1500 metre event.

Her success for the University of Dundee did also transfer to indoor championships the following year. At the 2012 Scottish Universities Indoor Championships, McColgan earned two gold medals, in the 1500 and 3000 metre events.

Eilish McColgan will receive her honorary Doctorate of Law degree during the Winter graduation ceremonies, which take on Thursday 17 November, and Friday 18 November.

Giving Back to Track

It is not just on the track that McColgan is having an impact.

Along with her partner and fellow Olympian Michael Rimmer, McColgan has launched the ‘Giving Back to Track’ intiative, in order to provide support for young athletes.

Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images for European Athletics

The intiative aims to help children from all background to enjoy athletics. According to the website, ‘our aim is to encourage kids in Scotland to lead an active lifestyle.’

The first thing they have been able to implement is support for young female athletes. McColgan attributes this to the amount of questions she gets from young girls, ‘asking for tips about running and exercise and all sorts of things.’

This support has intially materialsed in a scholarship, which young female athletes from all over Scotland are encouraged to apply for. The aim is to cover any costs that come up, whether that is for new equipment, or travel to championships.

Currently, Giving Back to Track is based at McColgan’s home club of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, with the hope in the future to extend this throughout Scotland.

Read next: Four International Sporting Stars Inducted Into BUCS Hall Of Fame

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Seth Nobes is a freelance writer for Freshered, focusing on university sport. He is currently studying for an MA in Sports Journalism, as well as the NCTJ diploma, at St Mary's University, Twickenham after graduating with a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Birmingham. Seth is also an editor for the Sports Gazette, with a keen focus on cricket. He has written and commentated on a wide variety of sports, ranging from football and rugby, to sailing and judo, for publications such as Vavel, Deep Extra Cover, Burn FM, and Redbrick. He is also a long-suffering Watford fan, for his sins.