Olympic hopeful Antony James has been able to take a year off from his studies to train thanks to a new bursary from Plymouth University.
The swimmer, who is also a student at the university, is the first person to receive the special bursary of £1,500, set up as part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The money will help Antony pay for his training costs as he takes a year off from his psychology degree to follow a training programme of 30 hours a week.
Antony, a member of the Plymouth Leander swimming club, is hoping to qualify for the Great Britain squad for London 2012.
He said: “This scholarship is a massive boost for my ambition to qualify for the Olympics next year, as it means I can focus exclusively upon my training and not have to worry so much about the expenses that go with it, such as travel, accommodation and equipment.
“It is almost impossible to find a job with the level of flexibility to fit around my time in the pool, so this money will be a huge help.”
Antony is the first person to be given the new 150 Scholarship, which is funded by donations from friends of the university.
Professor Richard Stephenson, dean of the faculty of health, education and society, and pro vice-chancellor at the university, said: “Antony is an outstanding swimmer and has been a proud representative of both the university and Plymouth. So we are delighted to be able to present him with this bursary that will enable him to pursue his Olympic dream.”