Bouncing to the top

A gold medal-winning gymnast has been honoured for outstanding academic and sporting success at University of Sheffield

A world championship-winning gymnast, who is forging an incredibly successful career as an international trampolinist whilst also studying for a leading science degree, is being honoured by the University of Sheffield.

Bryony Page, a third year biology student, is being awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal 2014 in recognition of her outstanding sporting achievements together with her exceptional academic success.

Having missed the opportunity to compete in the 2012 London Olympics during the second year of her degree due to injuries and illness, Bryony’s dedication motivated her to return to the trampoline to win the World Cup Individual Gold Medal in Bulgaria later that year. She then went on to retain the Ladies Champion title by winning the 2013 British Championships.

In November 2013, at the start of her third year as an undergraduate, Bryony was invited to compete in Denmark as part of Team GB at the World Cup where she won her second gold medal, beating two previous Olympic and World Champions.

Bryony, who also won Team Gold and finished fourth individually at the European Championships this year, said: “I was extremely surprised when I first found out I was chosen to receive this award. It is an honour to receive the Chancellor’s Medal and have the University of Sheffield’s support towards my sporting career and academic accomplishment.

“In truth, I have found it difficult balancing my academic studies with my sporting commitments, so it’s a good thing I like a challenge! I think one of the most difficult parts is catching up with lectures, coursework and study time after I am away for GB training camps and international competitions.

“I am away from Sheffield for at least a couple of days nearly every week for extra training and throughout the year there are many intensive week-long training camps and competitions, so I have to stay on top of things and work long hours to make up for the time I’ve been away from studying.”  

Professor Paul White, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: “At the University of Sheffield we pride ourselves on establishing an environment where students can fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions.

“Bryony has made an outstanding contribution to her sport, balancing an incredibly demanding training schedule with a continuing focus on her academic studies in Biology.

“Aside from her academic and sporting commitments, her contribution to club sport at the University has been enormous. She has supported and coached students to help them develop their abilities in their chosen sport. We think Bryony is an inspiration to her fellow students and a shining example of how, given the right support, students can study for a degree whilst also achieving their sporting dreams.”

Photo courtesy of Simon Wright

Bryony added: “I have to give an incredible amount of credit to the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences for their support and flexibility in understanding my goals to achieve academic excellence whilst maintaining my dream to be an elite athlete and compete for my country.

“My department has helped me arrange my timetable so I can fit both study and training, allowing me to concentrate on trampolining nearer major competitions and alternatively focusing on exams and coursework deadlines when my training schedule allows.

“My coach, friends and family have been my rocks, being extremely helpful during stressful times and putting me back on track when I have felt overwhelmed by all the work and training.”

The Chancellor’s Medal was founded by the University’s sixth Chancellor, Lord Dainton of Hallam Moors, who held office from 1978-1997, and is awarded to a final year student or recent graduate who has achieved outstanding attainment in academic, sporting or personal achievements. Previous winners of the award include Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jahaan Abdurahman, a recent graduate from the University who has improved the lives of people from across the world through her exceptional voluntary work.

Bryony is also one of a number of rising sporting stars at the University who are supported by the unique Elite Sports Performance Scheme, a scholarship that provides both financial and non-financial support to talented student athletes to help them achieve their academic and sporting dreams.

To find out more about the Elite Sports Performance Scheme, visit: https://www.sport-sheffield.com/sport/talent-elite/elite-sports-performance-scheme

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