LJMU Sport Scholars have been front-and-centre in the English sporting summer – featuring in the football and netball Women’s World Cups.
Laura Malcolm and Eleanor Cardwell reached the final of the Netball World Cup in South Africa with the Roses while footballer Niamh Charles is in the England squad currently in Australia and New Zealand.
Niamh played in the Group Stages at full-back and will be hoping to get on the pitch for the Lionesses’ quarter-final against Columbia on Saturday.
The former students all wore the university colours in their respective sports while studying – Niamh and Laura (Sport & Exercise Science) and Ellie (Applied Science).
“All three of the players have continued to stay in touch with the LJMU Sport Scholarship scheme and attend athlete inductions and workshops offering advice and guidance to LJMU Sport Scholars. We’ve been following their progress over the years so to see them at World Cups is amazing,” said Dave McDermott, Head of Elite Sport and Athlete Management.
Laura Malcolm (below), from Wolverhampton, has been playing netball since the age of 10 and now has more than 60 England caps. Formerly of Manchester Thunder, she recently transferred to New Zealand club Mainland Tactix and has established her own coaching clinic called Maias Netball, named after the Greek goddess of growth.
Eleanor (left), 28, from Blackpool, also played for Manchester before a switch to Aussie team Adelaide Thunderbirds. The 6ft 1ins striker excelled in England's run to the final, scoring 40 goals from 41 attempts which earned her ‘player of the match’ in the semi-final win over New Zealand.
Niamh, just 24, has only won eight caps but made it into Sarina Wiegman’s squad after an impressive season with Chelsea. She now has the chance to make history and go one further than in 2015 when the Lionesses achieved third place in the World Cup.
“All the LJMU community and country are rooting for Niamh and the team,” said Dave. “I have never known a team who has inspired a generation of players to enter a grassroots sport as much as the Lionesses, so it would be another historic moment if the team could reach the final stages.”