As a part of their induction, LJMU's Sport Scholars were treated to a special event featuring three-time Olympian, Honorary Fellow and Sport Scholar alumna, Anyika Onuora.
As one of the University's first Sport Scholars, Anyika graduated in 2008 with a degree in Economics. In recognition for her outstanding achievement in sport, she was presented with an Honorary Fellowship from LJMU in 2017.
Anyika's achievements include the bronze medal she and the rest of her 4 x 400m relay team received at the 2016 Olympics as well as medals gained from the Commonwealth Games and the European and World Championships.
She competed in her first major senior tournament in 2006 at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. She reached the semi-finals of the 100m and won her second silver medal in the 4×100m relay with the English team. At her first European Athletics Championships, she achieved the same feat again, reaching the individual semi-finals and taking another silver medal with the relay team.
In 2014, she helped set the British record in the Women's 4 × 100m running the third leg in the Diamond League in Zurich. This broke the British record set 11 days before at the 2014 European Athletics Championships.
Ten months before Anyika won her Olympic medal she was in hospital with life-threatening malaria. In less than 40 weeks she would go from seriously ill in hospital to the Olympic podium. She’s used her experience, not only to drive her ambition forward, but also to raise awareness of malaria.
This isn’t the first time Anyika has returned to LJMU to give a talk to Sport Scholars. Students are always delighted to hear from such a sporting great with an amazing story to tell. Niamh Charles, Liverpool FC Women and England U19 International who studies on the Sport and Exercise Science degree had this to say:
"It was great to listen to an LJMU Sport Scholar alumni and three-time Olympian. Her story was an inspiring one with lots of challenges and insight into what it takes to stay at that level".
David McDermott, Head of Elite Sport and Athlete Management shared his thoughts on the event:
"It’s always great to welcome Sport Scholar alumni back to LJMU to share their stories. With a mixture of academic staff, mentors, personal tutors, professional staff and the current group of LJMU Sport Scholars at the event, everyone was able to take some lessons from Anyika’s sporting themes and apply it to their lives.”
Sport Scholars are supported with specialist guidance to enhance their sporting performance including fitness tests, strength and conditioning programmes, nutritional advice and sport psychology. They are assigned a mentor and extra study support to help them balance their training and education. Find out more about the Sport Scholarship programme.