Kelsey Stewart: Injury & non-selection fuel Scottish 400m champion's degree studies

Aberdeen University
Kelsey Stewart has graduated from Aberdeen University

Scottish 400m champion Kelsey Stewart says she used the "character building" pain of injury and non-selection to fuel her degree studies.

The 22-year-old was not picked to race at last year's Commonwealth Games and has been sidelined since early April after damaging an ankle in training.

But she steeled herself and has just graduated with a first class honours degree in Exercise and Health Science.

"[The injury] happened just before final exams," she said.

"I wasn't even able to go to the library to revise because I couldn't drive. I was stuck at the dining room table and I thought at that point it is either make or break - you can either use this to really thrive in your studies, or it could ruin the whole thing, so I needed to find one positive.

"I had some really big goals for this year, but unfortunately they are not going to happen.

"However, we thought when I first did the injury that the season would be completely out, but we are hoping I might be back for the Scottish Championships and attempt to defend my 400m title in August."

In April last year, Stewart travelled to Australia as part of Team Scotland's 4x400m relay team for the Gold Coast Games, but was not selected to race in the event.

However, the Stonehaven native is philosophical about her past, and has lofty goals for the future.

"It has been really frustrating but it is character building, these setbacks make you stronger down the line," she told BBC Scotland.

"I think the 2020 Olympics have come round a little bit too soon, just with everything that has gone on, but I am looking towards 2024, with the 2022 Commonwealth Games in mind also, so looking at getting some individual slots in that and having a go at it."

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