Stu­dent, 67, sets bench mark

Grad­u­a­tions: Psy­chol­ogy stu­dent is pow­er­lift­ing world record holder

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS MORAY - BY RITA CAMPBELL

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

“En­cour­age peo­ple to stay ac­tive, men­tally and phys­i­cally”

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.”

SPORT­ING EX­CEL­LENCE: Ash Sin­clair with his award from the High­lands and Is­lands Stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion and the Uni­ver­sity of the High­lands and Is­lands

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