Student, 67, sets bench mark
Graduations: Psychology student is powerlifting world record holder
A record-breaking 67-yearold powerlifter from the Black Isle was just one of the award winners at the Inverness College UHI graduation ceremony yesterday.
BSc Psychology student Ash Sinclair was presented with a Full Sporting Blue Award by the Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) and the University of the Highlands and Islands in recognition of excellence in sporting performance.
Mr Sinclair was a finance director for 36 years before retiring five years ago.
An interest in computing prompted him to enrol in a digital media course at Inverness College UHI.
With a new-found thirst for knowledge, he enrolled on the BSc Psychology degree – and has not looked back.
He picked up the Sporting Blue Award in recognition of his title as a World Champion in powerlifting.
This year he took the bench press world record for his age group with a 140kg lift. He also holds the Scottish, British and European records in the 82.5 kilo weight class.
He said: “I’ve played sport all my life and competed as a powerlifter for many years.
“I encourage people my age to stay active, mentally and physically. It works for me – what’s retirement?”
More than 240 of the college students celebrated their graduation at the ceremony at Eden Court Theatre.
They have completed a range of qualifications from HNC to HND, degree, honours degree and postgraduate study.
Also receiving a special award was HNC care and administrative practice student Shannon Murray, from Kingussie.
She picked up the Ina Maciver Award, presented to the University of the Highlands and Islands’ health or social care student of the year.
Higher education provision at Inverness College UHI grew by almost 10% in 2016-17 compared with the previous year, with more than 2,500 students enrolled with the University of the Highlands and Islands. New principal Professor Chris O’Neil said: “I would like to offer my personal congratulations to every student graduating today.
“This is a special day for our students and a time to celebrate their achievements with friends and family.
“I am in no doubt they will have experienced highs and lows along the way – achieving a higher education qualification requires hard work and determination to succeed.
“But today is about reflecting on how far they have come on their learning journey, recognising the people who have helped them and looking forward to the next chapter.”
“Encourage people to stay active, mentally and physically”
SPORTING EXCELLENCE: Ash Sinclair with his award from the Highlands and Islands Student Association and the University of the Highlands and Islands