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High Performance Programme

Cardiff University has a strong sporting reputation as well as a history of supporting talented sportsmen and sportswomen who have contributed to this. Our bursary programme originated in 1996 and we are continuously striving to raise the profile and standard of sport at Cardiff University. 

The Cardiff University Sport High Performance Programme is more than just financial assistance; it is a programme that provides elite sportsmen and women with the opportunity to develop their sporting potential whilst study at a prestigious University. 


Aims and Objectives of the High Performance Programme

Aim – The main aim of the High Performance Programme (HPP) is to provide structured support to individuals enabling them to excel in both their academic and sporting careers whilst raising the profile and standard of sport at Cardiff University.


-         To increase the performance level of athletes.

-         To continually improve the University’s BUCS ranking.

-         To provide an athlete centred service.

-         To provide a range of support services.

-         To provide the best support/training environment for all athletes.


What do the High Performance Programme packages include?

The programme is designed to benefit elite performance athletes by supporting their academic study and sporting careers simultaneously. To enable a balance between these demands the scheme includes the following: 

  • Possible financial reward - Some members of the HPP will be awarded with a financial award if they can demonstrate the necessary sporting achievements at international/national level. Please note we have a limited budget so competition for financial bursaries can be very high and as such you must be able to provide evidence of your sporting achievements. Further information is outlined below.
  • Free Cardiff University branded kit - This will be issued at the start of the academic year and is to be used by the athletes for training/competition.
  • Free Gym/Fitness Suite Membership - All HPP members will be entitled to free Membership of all our sports facilities, including the Strength and Conditioning Centre - Park Place, the Fitness and Squash Centre - Senghennydd Road and the Sports Training Village - Talybont.
  • Physiotherapy - All members of the HPP have full and unlimited access to the University's internal Sports Physiotherapy Clinic - 'Inspire Performance'.
  • Sport Science Support - Fitness testing/assessments and Sport Specific Conditioning Programmes can be provided by staff within the University’s Sport Department.
  • Strength and Conditioning - A very experienced member of staff can provide personal training in this area on a 1-1 basis within our state of the art Strength and Conditioning Centre.
  • Sport Psychology - Sports Psychologists will visit the University throughout the year to provide presentations and workshops for all athletes.
  • Workshops and Presentations - All HPP members will have free access to guest speakers and workshops which cover topics designed to assist with training and personal development such as Performance Lifestyle, Nutrition, Plyometrics, SAQ training etc.
  • Sports Massage - An on-site service is available to all HPP students to help with their training, recovery and preparation for competitions.
  • Core Stability Screening - Core stability is the ability of your trunk to support the effort and forces from your arms and legs, so that muscles and joints can perform in their safest, strongest and most effective positions. An assessment will help you to optimise your core stability.                                                                                        
  • Planning for Success - Members of the HPP can meet with the Performance Sport Officer to discuss all issues relating to their sport. Areas including performance profiling, nutrition, fitness testing, time management and personal development can be discussed. Also, the Performance Sport Officer will assist HPP students with any academic issues they may have such as major competitions taking place during term-time etc.
  • Media promotion and experience - Cardiff University is continually striving to raise the profile of sport. As such, there are regular opportunities for HPP students to participate in interviews for the University TV channel, newspapers, website, alumni magazines as well as local/national press.


What is expected from a High Performance athlete in Cardiff University?

The programme is seen as a partnership between the athlete and the university. As such there are certain expectations of the athletes once they have been accepted as part of the programme:

  • Athletes must make every effort to compete/represent Cardiff University in BUCS competition at any appropriate time during the year. 
  • Regular meetings (one per semester) are arranged with the Performance Sport Officer to discuss individual needs and progress.
  • All competition dates/reports/photographs are submitted during the meetings and updated at frequent intervals via email so we can publicise the athletes career both within the University and the local/national press.
  • Athletes must make every effort to attend the High Performance Programme Induction Event and the Award Ceremony at dates to be confirmed by the Performance Sport Officer.
  • Academic performances of athletes must sustain standards set out to normal University regulations.
  • Athletes must make themselves available for any Cardiff University PR & press opportunities whenever possible.
  •  All relevant information e.g. term-time address, contact numbers, are kept up to date for all correspondence.
  • Collections of Financial Awards are made in person from the Performance Sport Officer.
  • Any breach of these conditions may result in the athlete's position on the programme being suspended. 


Who can apply to be part of the Cardiff University Sport High Performance Programme?

Anyone can apply for an award as long as they have met the academic requirements for a course and subsequently been given a confirmed place at Cardiff University for the academic year 2015-16. 

As main criteria, all applicants must be able to demonstrate current sporting achievement at Junior International level (or equivalent) at least. Current Senior Internationals will be given priority above Juniors with current GB Senior Internationals seen as the highest level possible in the majority of sports. Applicants must also show the desire and aspiration to continue performing at the highest possible level throughout their time at Cardiff University.

Cardiff University is judged and judges itself on its BUCS ranking and as such priority will be given to those athletes who are of an international standard in a BUCS sport and are willing to represent Cardiff University, although applications from all sports will be considered. A full list of BUCS sports is outlined in the table below.

Please note that competition for places on the programme can be very high so nothing is guaranteed and it is essential all applicants must be able to show evidence of their sporting achievements.


BUCS Sports










Rugby Fives


Rugby League

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Rugby Union














Table Tennis

Gaelic Football





Tenpin Bowling



Ju Jitsu



Ultimate Frisbee






Water Polo

Modern Biathlon/Pentathlon





How to apply to be part of the Cardiff University Sport High Performance Programme?

In order to apply for a place on the Cardiff University Sport High Performance Programme 2015-16 please download a copy of the application form (from the right hand side of this page) and complete it in accordance with the guidance for applicant’s booklet (can also be downloaded from the right hand side of this page).

Completed application forms should either be posted or emailed to:

Miss Charlotte Arter
Performance Sport Officer

Telephone:02920 879715

Please note the deadline for applications for the academic year 2015-16 is Monday 28th September 2015 at 12:00. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee any applications received after this date will be considered.

Please remember to include one fully completed reference and the details of one more referee who may be contacted if you are selected for interview. 

If you have any further queries regarding the High Performance Programme please contact the Performance Sport Officer.