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Durham University News

Athletes' Profiles

Kira Roberts - ranked 5th in the British rankings for fencing and the only person in the top seven who does not train full-time

Kira started competing in sabre in 2005 at Trinity School in Teignmouth, Devon, as a late starter to the sport. In 2006, she progressed to represent Great Britain internationally for the cadet (U16) and junior (U20) teams and hasn't looked back since. In 2008, Kira was selected to represent the senior GB team internationally in the individuals and became part of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). TASS aims to help its athletes to balance academic life with training and competition as a performance athlete. Among the titles Kira holds is the 2009 Junior Commonwealth Champion, gold medallist at the Senior Commonwealth team event in 2010, winner of the Pro Sabre in 2009, current and 2008 winner of the BUSA individual championships and WeiBherbst 2010 international winner. Despite being the only person in the top seven to not train full time, and one of two to still be in full time education, Kira finished 3rd at the national championships in 2010 and took second place in 2011.

Steph Elliott - England U21 player and first team level hockey player at Durham University since 2009

Steph, who is studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport, has played in Durham University's first team hockey squad since 2009 and is currently captain.  She trains four or five nights a week in addition to two games. Steph was selected to play for the England Under 21 squad in the summer of 2011, when they played Germany and Spain's under 21 squads and the French, Japanese, Welsh, Scottish and English senior squads.  Steph captained the team for their game against France.

Dr Naomi Hoogesteger - world record holder for fastest Atlantic rowing crossing and bronze medallist at world rowing championships

Naomi took part in a range of sports as a teenager.  She competed at county level in athletics, cross-country and hockey. In 2001, she took up rowing and quickly became one of the top U23 rowers in the country. Naomi was Women's Captain of Durham University Boat Club in 2002-3, and then spent a year on a rowing scholarship in Los Angeles. Following her return to the UK, she competed for the Great Britain Senior Rowing squad. In 2005, she won a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships (Stroke and steerswoman of the Lightweight Women's Quadruple Sculls) and in 2008 showed her versatility by finishing fourth in the World Quadrathlon Championships (swimming, kayaking, cycling and running).  Naomi went on to break the world record for the fastest Atlantic rowing crossing as the only female crew member in 2011 (31 days and 23 hours), raising over £40,000 for charities along the way.