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Business School welcomes first basketball scholarship students

12 December 2023

Professor Stewart Robinson, Dean of Newcastle University Business School, recently met the School’s first basketball scholarship students. 

Vivian WooThomas HorvatDaniel Delsol-Lowry, and Nicolas Johnson – all high-performing basketball athletes in the US – joined the School in September. 

To welcome them from the US, Professor Robinson met the students to find out more about their experiences of the UK so far, and how the school can help them in their sporting aspirations.

Connecting sport and business

The University aspires to be one of the top destinations in the UK for sport athletes, and to highlight the connections between the world of sport and business.  

Professor Robinson explained: “Providing scholarships for athletes is a great way of not only supporting the University’s sporting ambitions, but of bringing high performing students from diverse backgrounds into the classroom. It’s a win-win for our sports teams and the students studying our programmes. The athletes’ focus on training and performance provides valuable insights into how businesses can develop high performing teams.” 

Mark Elderkin, Head of Basketball at Newcastle University, said:

“The partnership with the Business School and the Basketball programme has got off to an extremely impactful start. Four high calibre student athletes coming from the USA to represent our basketball programme is having a huge impact on court. The Men’s basketball team is currently ranked joint 1st nationally in the BUCS premiership and the Women’s team is ranked 2nd . Going forward we want to learn from the experience of our USA student athletes and continue to grow this exciting new partnership.

During Covid, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes were granted an extra year of funding eligibility for their studies, taking it from four to five years. With only one year remaining of this extended eligibility, we hope for Newcastle University Business School to become one of the top destinations in Britain for international student athletes”.

Sharing experiences on and off the court 

During the welcome meeting the students asked Professor Robinson about his background and in return, shared some insights into basketball and player positions. 

Professor Robinson also took the opportunity to find out more from the students about their experiences of the School and city so far. 

Vivian, an Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability MSc student, said: “It’s so different to California, so I’m still adjusting. But the biggest thing for me has been the people – everyone is so friendly here. More welcoming. If I have questions, everyone is willing to help me.” 

Tom, a previous postgraduate student at the School who is now studying the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability MSc, said: “The scholarship is a great idea. It will help a lot more students to come to Newcastle. It’s a fun city – my interests have changed a lot since I was 23 to 27 and I’m now experiencing the city in different ways.” 

This ambition is what led the four sports students to the School. They are all now part of the University’s basketball team and will represent the University in matches during their studies. 


Daniel, also studying the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability MSc, added: “Newcastle and New York are like night and day; they are two completely different places.

"But I was very focused on the basketball side – how professional is the team? Do they have strength and conditioning? Are they focused on keeping me healthy? And that is what is going on here, so I appreciate that as well as the Master’s.” 

Reflecting on their programme of study, Tom said: “The course is great and it is a great topic. The students are all really engaged and there is never a quiet moment.”

The School is now looking forward to building on the new sport sponsorship initiative and hearing more about the students’ experiences as they continue to navigate through their learning and sporting journey in the North East.  

Professor Robinson concluded:

“We are excited to have delivered the first year of the sports scholarship programme and it is great to see the students now studying in the school. Going forward, we aim to link-up with the Newcastle Eagles professional team to further strengthen the opportunities this programme provides.”