Cathcart Legacy Event

Issued: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 12:56:00 BST

The Cathcart Family with alumnus Lewis and current student Elise

Family, friends, and colleagues of the late Dr Andrew Cathcart recently came together for an emotional and inspirational celebration of his life and the impact of the scholarship set up in his honour.

Dr Cathcart was tragically killed in a traffic collision while out cycling on a research trip in South Africa a decade ago this year, and the School of Life Sciences felt it would be a fitting tribute to mark this important time with a legacy event.

We were delighted to welcome Andrew's father Jim, mother Susan, and brother Peter along as guests of honour as recipients of the Cathcart Scholarship detailed the ways in which they had benefitted.

Current students were also invited to attend and saw the direct impact that the scholarships have on the degree quality and employability.

The scholarship supports our Physiology & Sports Science (PSS) and PSS & Nutrition students to gain invaluable experience in elite sports science environments across the world.

Funding provided facilitates access to work-based learning opportunities in elite competitive sport organisations working directly with athletes and coaches.

Jim Cathcart and Lewis MacMillan holding signed Fulham shirt

Alumnus Lewis MacMillan, who now works for Fulham Football Club as a data scientist, paid tribute to the impact Andrew's parents had made on his life.

He said: "I was able to work with six different sports federations in Norway and was involved with rowing, ice skating, speed skating, beach volleyball, alpine skiing, skateboarding, and snowboarding - opportunities I would never have gotten otherwise.

"I get a call from the guys at Fulham asking me if I could interview for a job, so I did, was successful and now work for Fulham full time.

"First of all, I have to say thank you to the staff here at the University of Glasgow. They've given me every opportunity possible to be successful in my career.

"Finally, to the Cathcart family, there is no way I'd be in the position I am now without the opportunities you have afforded us as students. Thank you so much; I appreciate it with all my heart."

Current fourth year Physiology student Elise Valjaots added: "It has helped me in my goaltending career. We managed to win one Australian championship title and one silver, and I also worked with the Under-18 women's national team goaltenders.

"I learned so much. It was the three best months of my life without doubt, and I am incredibly thankful to the staff for encouraging third years to apply and to the Cathcart family."

Student Elise Valjaots talking at Cathcart legacy event

The scheme has also been a significant contributor to the sports science course success in university rankings, in which we were  ranked at number one in the UK by both The Complete Uni Guide and The Guardian.

Dr Cathcart's father Jim brought down the curtain on the event with a poignant address: "This gathering is of great importance to us.

"It reflects on Andrew's time in the university. There are classmates here, people who taught Andrew as an undergraduate, colleagues from when he joined the department, and students who were taught by Andrew.

"So there is a bit of everything of Andrew's life here in the first strand of the event. The second strand is the scholarship itself; Andrew was really enthusiastic about his teachings and we get the impression from others he was an inspiration.

"He was thinking about developing a work experience scheme for students, and it was in that we find the seeds of the scholarship, which is one of the few positives that came out of Andrew's untimely passing was this scholarship.

"From what we've heard today, it's been so successful and has surpassed every expectation we had for it. Today is an affirmation for us as a family of Andrew's contribution to the life and work of the department.

"And through the scholarship that is continuing his contribution. That is something we appreciate a lot; it's something we cherish and are really proud of.

"I'd like to finish by thanking everyone who is here this afternoon, to acknowledge the literally hundreds of people who contributed to setting up the funds, and thank Professor Ron Baxendale for maintaining the strong links with ourselves."