Swansea University students selected for GB squads

Two Swansea University Engineering students have excelled on the sporting front winning selection for GB winter sports squads.

First year Material Science and Engineering student Marek Behnke will represent Great Britain at the World Junior Freestyle Ski Championships in Valmalenco, Italy which are taking place next week (19th to 24th March 2012.)

And second year Product Design Engineering student Richard Penhale joins the Team GB University Ice Hockey Team which will be competing in the 2013 FISU (International University Sports Federation) World Winter Games in Maribor, Slovenia.

Marek Behnke  

Marek becomes the first ever British skier to qualify for the Championships in Ski Cross, and will be one of 12 young British skiers who will make the trip to Italy. This achievement is all the more impressive as Marek has been combining his studies at Swansea University, and has had had to limit his skiing this winter due to lack of funding.  Marek has been in Norway and Sweden as part of a GB Ski Cross squad taking part in four Europa Cup events as part of his preparation.

Marek said: “I am so proud to have been selected, and this has been made all the more special as I will be the first ever Brit to take part in this event, it has been worth all the hard work and sacrifices to get so far.”


Richard Penhale smaller

Richard started playing Ice Hockey at the age of 8 and played for his home town Oxford’s U10 team before progressing to the First Division with the Swindon U14 team. Richard now plays for and Captains the Welsh Universities Cardiff Redhawks first team.  The team started in March of 2005, and joined the British University Ice Hockey Association in the 2005/2006 season.

Richard's team are top of their division having been undefeated this season. Not only is Richard top points scorer for the Redhawks he has also scored the most points of any player in the division they play in.  

When not playing hockey or studying Richard is also busy in the boxing ring. Richard became interested in boxing while at Swansea University and has progressed to the Advanced Middleweight Class and his personal trainer is hoping to arrange a bout soon.


Richard said: “ I am really pleased to have been selected for the British Universities Ice Hockey Team. The Winter Universiade Championships are second in importance only to the Winter Olympic Games. It will be a great honour to represent Britain in the World Games. “