England’s game against Scotland saw our very own Sport Development graduate, Nikita Parris, lead England's winning efforts by scoring a brilliant penalty in the 14th-minute, following a video assist referee review. Teammate Ellen White then went on to score a second for the team, doubling the advantage as Phil Neville’s women's squad fought on to secure a 2-1 victory.
The Lioness forward, and former LJMU Sport Scholar, graduated here in 2018 – impressing her mentors and peers alike with her ability to balance academic life with her sporting commitments and gruelling training routine.
Toxteth born Parris, now 25, is certainly no stranger to sporting success – having already played as a forward for Manchester City Women and making her official debut in the England squad in 2016. It was here she achieved her first senior cap after a 7-0 win against Serbia at the European Champions 2017 qualifiers.
The support for Nikita and her team is huge here at LJMU, especially from her former lecturers. Programme Leader, Danny Cullinane, recalls her determination and work ethic:
“Nikita’s infectious personality, pride in her local roots, and grounded manner made her a hugely popular student. Despite an extremely busy schedule, she always stayed on top of absolutely everything. All of us here are really pleased to see her achieve her goals, both on and off the pitch, with passion and integrity.”
Cath Walker, Nikita's Personal Tutor had this to say: “Nikita’s success on the football pitch is not a surprise to anyone in the Sport Development degree here at LJMU. She demonstrates the same focus, motivation and enthusiasm that we saw last year on the course. She has taken the advice and experience of balancing her studies and is applying that now to her football career. We are all very proud of her success.”
One thing's for certain – here at LJMU we’ll be digging out our England flags and flying them high, as we have a feeling that Nikita is only just getting warmed up...
Good luck ladies!