A TOP-SCORING Canadian ice hockey player is looking forward to discovering the East Lothian coast after taking up a degree course at Queen Margaret University.

Mike Cazzola, who is the new signing for Edinburgh Capitals, will study physiotherapy at the Musselburgh university’s School of Health Sciences which provides the largest range of professional healthcare courses in Scotland.

Originally from Guelph in Ontario, he was recruited by the Capitals having had a successful rookie season in the ECHL in North America. He was a top scorer for his club the Fort Wayne Komets and the top point scoring rookie in the ECHL.

Before coming to Scotland at the end of August, Cazzola had spent four years studying at Acadia University. Studying for a degree in kinesiology, he continued to post impressive numbers, scoring 133 points in just 107 games for his university.

Part of the appeal of coming to Scotland was the chance to enrol with QMU on its two year MSc physiotherapy (pre-registration) course.

Cazzola is delighted to be combining his hockey playing skills with the chance to study at postgraduate level.

He said: “Combining my passion for ice hockey with the chance to study physiotherapy at QMU is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Scotland is renowned throughout the world for the quality of its higher education and I feel privileged to have the chance to experience and benefit from the country’s education system.

“I am now in the process of meeting the physiotherapy lecturers and am enjoying getting to know students from Scotland, the rest of the UK as well as international learners.

“I am really looking forward to becoming part of the QMU community, discovering the the East Lothian coast and contributing to the development of the Edinburgh Capitals.”

Professor Fiona Coutts, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, said: “We aim to create educational courses at the leading edge of today’s issues with graduates who are in demand, work-ready, able to progress in their chosen profession and who can challenge current healthcare practices.

“Mike is going to be kept extremely busy during his two-year scholarship with QMU, which will involve juggling intensive course work and 1,000 hours of placement with his sports commitments.”