Alumni of the SU - Ed Nicholas

For our latest People of the SU profile, we spoke to Ed Nicholas a former Sports Union President and a Social Sciences graduate at Edinburgh University.

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For our latest People of the SU profile, we spoke to Ed Nicholas a former Sports Union President and a Social Sciences graduate at Edinburgh University.

“Through university I have made lifelong friends, leading to me to sharing key life moments from weddings to visiting their new families. It has been a really enjoyable experience for me, while being grateful to have been given the opportunity to visit beautiful rural Scotland in trips away with the Orienteering and Hare and Hounds running club. Leaving university was a challenge in itself, not many people instantly recognise what actually happens next, it was a bit of a shock seeing your friends split off in different directions across the UK and further afield.


From being a member of two sports clubs, I was given my first sense of responsibilities, having that freedom and, I suppose, inner confidence from the Sports Union to be smart and to do your own thing was a blessing in disguise, development-wise. My interpersonal skills and organisational skills developed through organising trips away whether that was to the Lakes, the Highlands or even continental Europe at one point. Knowing that the Sports Union was there to offer support for us was comforting too.


Towards the end of my fourth year, I was grateful to have been given the chance to take a sabbatical with the university the following year, taking on the Sports Union Presidency. This was an amazing experience which enabled me to see just how impactful sport and exercise can be. Being the sporty person that I still am today I thought the role was very fitting to me. Witnessing around 1000 people on committees in all our clubs committed to sport emphasised just how much people loved sport.

Looking back, I would take myself less seriously, and relax more if I was in the role today. I remember getting caught up in all the sports clubs and dancing manically around my office when I saw our clubs’ results come through on Wednesday afternoons. It was no longer just running and orienteering, I would be searching the results of every club whether that be their fifth or first team side. It is good to look back and see that I am a part of that chain of continual development within sport at Edinburgh. What I really like about the Sports Union now, is sport is open to everyone, even those who think sport isn’t for them.


I would have liked to have started my role engaging with the non -sporting populations more to promote the benefits of what sports clubs can do to your university experience. Social media as well was just becoming a thing when I was in my role, so I had to be very adaptive to meet all the latest developments in the role.


Joining a sports club has benefited me not just socially, but academically too, the interpersonal organisational skills have been key to my career development in the working world. Having that freedom and empowerment to do things yourself, knowing that you can put in as much effort as you wish.


I am still a big advocate for all things sport at Edinburgh, helping the university through various projects as well as coaching orienteering athletes. Nobody wants old timers infringing too much; however, I am always keen to offer my expertise and advice to anyone that needs it.

I would tell people to enjoy every minute of sport at Edinburgh and to take every advice you can get, don’t do everything by yourself especially when you have been at a community as tight knit as Edinburgh".


In our #AlumnioftheSU we seek to discover what sporting memories stood out for former students of our Sports Union, as well as learning how sport has helped them reach positive destinations in life after Edinburgh.
Do you have an interesting story to tell? Nominate yourself by filling out our nomination form here. To find out more about everything alumni, head over to our alumni page.



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