Igniting the Olympic spirit at Universities Week
Sporting stars from the University are gearing up for the most important performance of their lives as the Olympic countdown continues.
In just 88 days (as of Monday 30 April) students and graduates from the University will be flying the flag for Great Britain as they go for gold against other elite athletes from across the world.
To mark the third annual Universities Week (Monday 30 April – Monday 7 May 2012) the University is celebrating the diverse ways we have engaged with the Olympic and Paralympic Games – from sports training and ground breaking medical research to the development of volunteering projects which will support the London 2012 spectacle.
World Champion heptathlete and University graduate, Jessica Ennis MBE, is one of Team GB’s most hotly tipped Olympic contenders for the London 2012 games. The 25-year-old gained a Psychology degree in 2007 before receiving an honorary degree from the University in 2010.
Medal hopeful Jessica said: "This year's Universities Week is a fantastic way of celebrating higher education and the impact it has had on the sporting industry, whether through innovative sports research or by offering support to young athletes juggling their academic studies with their training.
"In the run up to the 2012 Olympics, I'm thrilled to support such a worthy campaign and wish the University of Sheffield the very best for the Week.”
Fellow Sheffield graduate Nichola Osborne, 27, is also hoping to earn a place on the podium with the Women’s Volleyball Team. Nichola graduated from the University’s School of Medicine in 2011 as a fully qualified doctor. She received a scholarship from the University’s Elite Sport Performance Scheme (ESPS) to help her achieve sporting and academic excellence as she combined her final year of study with full time training.
“Thank you to everyone in Sheffield who contributed to my scholarship of 2010–2011,” said Nichola.
“It was a tough, but successful year and the support I received from Sheffield both financially and in services was a significant help. Mentally, it has been a great help to know that the University as a whole has supported my wishes to combine final year medicine with an intense sporting commitment. It has been invaluable to know that further help was always available.”
Other Olympic hopefuls and graduates of the University of Sheffield include: Zara Dampney, Team GB member of the Olympics beach volleyball team, Table tennis champion David Wetherill and world-class trampolinist Bryony Page.
Alison Muir, Alumni Relations Manager, said: “The University is very proud of all alumni representing their country at the Olympics later this year. The London Olympic Games are going to be a fantastic event for the whole country and we are so pleased that members of the University community around the world are taking part. It really does highlight the diverse ways in which our University is engaging with both the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Universities Week will be celebrated across the country with the aim of increasing public awareness of the wide role of the UK’s universities.
The campaign is being coordinated by Universities UK, and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).