After officially graduating from Loughborough College in 2013, with a BSc Applied Sports Science, I have still not had that all-important picture to go on the parents’ mantelpiece with the gown, hat and scroll…. however last week it finally happened!
It was a real pleasure to return to Loughborough as guest speaker at the sports students’ graduation ceremony and although I was hugely nervous, I enjoyed sharing my experiences with them all, knowing there could well be some future Olympians or professional sportspeople in the room!
Driving to the venue past the university and college brought back so many memories of my time there and it had always been where I wanted to study since school when I heard of the sporting excellence and fabulous facilities they had.
When I didn’t achieve my A-Level grades to get into the university I was absolutely gutted, however when I was given the option to study across the road at the college on a foundation degree for two years and then the opportunity to top it up to a degree in my third year by remaining at the college or to move over to the university, the choice was mine. I couldn’t turn it down. It was the best of both worlds! Even though I was a college student, I could still play for the university hockey team, do most things in the university campus and graduate with a degree validated by Loughborough University.
Not only that, during my final year at Loughborough I was invited to the Senior GB Women’s hockey programme and they supported my decision to follow my dream to compete in an Olympics, to which they put my degree on hold until after London 2012, which is why I didn’t graduate until I was 25!
Last but not least, huge congratulations to all the graduates on your fantastic achievements and I wish you all the best in your future ventures. Thank you for letting me share/gatecrash your graduation and finally get that photo.