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Two Sydney University students – Aimee Watson and Hamish McLean – have been selected to represent the Australian University Sport (AUS) team at the 2011 Winter Universiade (World University Games) from  January 26 to February 6 in Erzurum, Turkey.

Watson, a veterinary science student and Elite Athlete Program member, will represent Australia at Cross Country Skiing at the Winter Universiade.

She was clearly pleased with her selection.

“It’s really nice to be able to compete with other athletes who have a similar lifestyle to me outside of their sport,” Watson said.

“There are more and more athletes who have begun developing interests outside of sport, and I see the Winter Universiade as a great opportunity to compete with these people.

I’m really proud to be representing Sydney University and Australia.”

Watson, 22, has been skiing since she was three – however it wasn’t until 2001 that she began working with a coach. That resulted in her selection this year in the Australian team for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, where she competed in the 10km Individual Free and the 15km Pursuit events.

McLean, a biathlon competitor, is completing his honours in biochemistry having previously completed a Bachelor of Science at Sydney University.

He is looking forward to competing in his sport at such a distinguished level.

“It’s great to be selected and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to delve into international competition for my sport,” McLean said.

“There are very few opportunities to compete for your country at this level in the sport of biathlon. I can’t wait to lead the charge for Sydney University next year.”

McLean’s list of achievements include second place at the 2009 and 2010 Australian Biathlon Championships at Mt Hotham, and a podium result at the 2010 Australian Cup.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for both Aimee and Hamish to be selected to represent their country and the university next year,” said High Performance & Club Development Officer Matthew Phelps.

“The selection of Aimee showcases the diversity of the Sydney University Sport & Fitness (SUSF) program.

We support our clubs, but we also place an important emphasis on our athletes who compete as individuals.

At SUSF we support a host of sports – from snow sports to diving and many more.”

The World University Winter Games are held every two years under the banner of the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

They comprise competition in 10 compulsory sports and some optional sports determined by the host.

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