Scotland – go explore!

We cannot stress enough how awesome parts of Scotland are. Edinburgh is one of the major cities, but in a few hours you can be stomping about the Highlands in absolutely sensational scenery. The Highlands are a playground for adventure fans, mountain bikers, hill-walkers, or just those who want to sit beside a Loch and look for a Monster.

Go and make a coffee and take a few minutes out of your day to watch this, filmed on the Isle of Skye. 4mins 14 is UNREAL.

Scotland Rugby – Six Nations WIN!

Well, that went well! As mentioned in a previous blog post, The RBS Six Nations tournament kicked off this weekend and Scotland were at home (in Edinburgh at our national rugby stadium BT Murrayfield) to the mighty Ireland. Now, as previously confessed, rugby is not my favourite sport – I have always much preferred football/soccer and rugby has always been a fun enough sport to watch. BUT GOOD GRIEF yesterday was good – I think I finally get it. Winning certainly help the enjoyment. The crowd were behind their teams, the Murrayfield Roar could be heard across the city!

Stuart Hogg scored two tries, and got Man of the Match, and Scotland came from 22-21 down, after a strong start, to win the game with two penalties from captain Greig Laidlaw.

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Scotland’s double try-scorer, Stuart Hogg (Pic: The Independent)

The Six Nations is an annual tournament between Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, France and Italy and it’s fiercely competed. Scotland have had, shall we say, a patchy history in the competiton so yesterday’s win is as significant as it was enjoyable to witness. We have not won an opening game since 2006 when we beat France, and it’s only the second time since the Six Nations started that we’ve won on our first outing. Too soon to get carried away about winning overall but what a great start, and what a great time to be in Edinburgh. The streets – and pubs – were filled with Scottish and Irish fans all weekend.

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Our view in Murrayfield, with Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat in the background
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Full marks to the lady behind us for her hat – her friend had made it for her, in the shape of a Scottish thistle!

Six Nations Rugby – Countdown is ON!

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For a lot of students, sport plays a huge part in their lives – watching, playing, talking about it. We have two football teams in Edinburgh – Heart of Midlothian (or Hearts) and Hibernian (Hibs). But football is about to take a back seat for a while as Edinburgh opens its arms to welcome rugby fans from across Europe for the RBS Six Nations. First up on the 4th February, Scotland will take on the mighty Ireland at our national rugby stadium, Murrayfield, here in Edinburgh. I’m going, so I’ll take some pics and get them up on here so you can see it all in action.

Rugby is a big deal here. Edinburgh Napier. In 2015, we built a £2.5million extension at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus, to be home to the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy in Edinburgh. The development included a new two-storey sports centre extension that will host a multi-use strength and conditioning gym, rehabilitation space and studio research facility. ALSO, the space provides the academy players with a fully-equipped, snazzy gym and rehab spaces – including a 30 metre running track on the ground floor.

(And while we are here, the University already boasts one of the UK’s leading biomechanic labs, which includes an exercise physiology lab, and features an environment chamber that simulates altitude, humidity, and hot and cold conditions. Ideally for prepping our athletes for international competitions.)

Here’s Scotland 7s player Mark Robertson, a graduate of Edinburgh Napier, chatting about his time at Uni, combining work and sport: