"It's very difficult for most universities to put forward a rugby squad to compete at the highest level, because the best players are going to toddle back to wherever their first call is.
"But in other areas, take one of our sports bursars, Gwen Lewis, who is an international-standard modern pentathlete - I don't think she would have been able to come along at that standard if she wasn't at university with the support we are able to give her, the facilities, the training, the back-up, the grant for a new air-pistol.
"The same might apply to one or two of our lads in the swimming team, who come from what you might call a non-affluent background. At university, they can get access to facilities and training and general support which they could never get through the average home club."
Alan Nichols, director of Stirling University's sports centre
Interviews by John Davies.