Luca the Triathlete
Megabytes to megafit for integrated degree student Luca
An integrated degree student is lapping up his course work and training to be an elite level triathlete at the same time.
Luca Fanottoli (21), who is originally from Olengo, Italy, but now lives in Stirling, has just completed his second year on the BSc Applied Computing which allows students to spend the first two years studying at Forth Valley College, before completing their studies at the University of Stirling. They are also recognised as university undergraduates throughout the course and have access to resources and facilities at both the University and the College.
And his use of the sports facilities and coaching at the university has led him to some notable finishes in UK wide British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) events recently.
On 4 May at the Sprint Triathlon Championships (750m swim, 25 km cycle and 5km run) at St Mary’s university in London he finished 16th out of 266 competitors. Then in on 20 May at Southport, in the Olympic standard distances (1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run) he finished sixth overall and was the first Scottish based athlete at the event.
Luca is now looking forward to the second stage of the Italian Grand Prix Triathlon event in the middle of June, having a week-long holiday with his family back in Italy before heading to a Triathlon Scotland training camp in Gerona, Spain between 5-19 July.
Luca, said: “Here in Stirling I can train almost as a full-time athlete with my coach Andrew Woodroffe and also continue my studies at the same time, which is absolutely fantastic for me. The integrated degree has been a great fit for me and competing for the University of Stirling is brilliant.”
Luca who has just finished a two year stint at Forth Valley College’s Falkirk Campus which has sharpened his practical skills, helped improve his English and prepared him for university, trains three times a day starting at 6am and weaves his training into his course work.
He added: “I love it here and I am living the dream, Stirling is my home now as I would be limited to what I could do in Italy. If I could possibly become a full-time elite triathlete then that would be great, but I know I will have great degree at the end of my studies.
“I am very proud of myself to have gotten this far and my family back home are too. I am a modest person and just want to do my best and if you work hard people will notice you. The integrated degree programme at Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling has helped me to do this.”
Muriel Alexander, FVC’s Universities Partnership Officer, said: “The integrated degree programmes deliver the benefits of a college and university experience across academic, social and extra-curricular activities. Luca’s success is a wonderful example of how our students can access university facilities and services and make a positive and important contribution to both institutions. Not only is he doing well in his studies, but he is excelling in his sporting activities too. We are really pleased that he has done so well and wish him all the best when he progresses to his third year at university in September.”