Hartpury talent’s winning mix of science and soccer acts as catalyst for Cambridge call

Hartpury looks set to have its first Oxbridge student with scientist and talented footballer, Nick Gallagher, having been offered a place at Cambridge University.

Nick, 18, from Bristol, is currently in his second year at Hartpury, studying A-levels in maths, biology, chemistry and physics.

The talented sportsman decided to come to the college from Queen Elizabeth Hospital School in Bristol as he wanted to continue developing his footballing talent alongside studying for the qualifications that could secure his dream university place.

Being part of the football programme has meant Nick has been able to benefit from top level coaching and play for Hartpury’s Under-18s teams while pursuing his academic ambitions.

Getting that balance right has seen the 18-year-old offered a football scholarship at Stamford University in the USA as well as the place at Cambridge to read Natural Sciences.

“My original plan was to go to university in the States but receiving an offer from Cambridge, it’s just a dream come true and too good to turn down,” said Nick.

“Hartpury has worked so hard to make my time-tabling work around my training and playing commitments so that I could keep up my football and stay on course to get the grades I need.

“It is hard work and can be pretty intense at times, but it’s all been worth it. It shows that you can still play top level college sport and go as far as you want to with your A-levels if you put the work in and have the right support.”

Nick has played a starring role for Hartpury off the field as well as on it, achieving two silver medals in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual Chemistry Olympiad during his time here. And the all-rounder has ambitions outside of football and science too.

Nick added: “I’m looking into the possibility of deferring the offer from Cambridge because I’d love to do a gap year. I lived in Spain when I was younger and I’d love to go to South America to get some work experience, potentially at a university out there, and get my Spanish back up to the level I was at.

“The other option is to head out to the US for a gap year but I’m still weighing everything up. I’ve got a lot of decisions to make but I don’t regret coming to Hartpury for a minute.

“You do a lot of growing up here and I know that the fact I’ve already lived away from home and been at a college where you study alongside degree students will really help with the transition to university.”