05 December 2013
This year's students graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University donned their robes in the crisp weather with over 1,200 celebrating their achievements at Canterbury Cathedral with their family and friends.
Phil Anthony ready to graduate
Among this year’s graduates is Phil Anthony, 32, from Ashford. Phil, who is a competitive athlete, graduated last week with a First Class Honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science and is now trying to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
To qualify for the Games in Glasgow, Phil needs to run his next marathon below two hours and fifteen minutes. His previous times are two hours and sixteen minutes in London and two hours and 18 minutes in Berlin, where he came 20th.
To improve his training Phil has recently returned from a four week high-altitude training camp in Iten, Kenya. At high-altitude there is less oxygen in the air; training in this environment therefore decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches the muscles making exercise more difficult. This form of training improves an athlete’s running abilities and endurance. The one month trip to Iten, organised by UK athletics, was attended by Olympians such as Lee Merrian (Marathon), Michael Rimmer and Elish McColgan, both track runners and is used by top, world class athletes, including Mo Farah.
Phil Anthony training in Kenya
Phil said: “My time spent as a student at Christ Church has been an invaluable experience that has allowed me to grow as an individual and as well as an athlete. The support that I have received from the University has boosted my passion for athletics.
“The course material, facilities and expert knowledge made available has allowed me to gain new skills and understand the complex combination of the physiological, psychological and sociological components and how to apply this knowledge to reach a higher level within sport.”
After leaving school at 16, Phil was eager to explore athletics and joined local club Deal tri, training to run, swim and cycle. By 2000, Phil was competing as a junior in the Great British Triathlon team.
In 2004, Phil decided to throw in the swimming towel and train to compete in Duathlons, a race consisting of a sequence of running and cycling, again for the Great British Elite Squad.
Whilst Phil continued his career as a Duathlon athlete, he began his journey in education studying to become a GNVQ level 3 personal trainer before moving on to study Sport and Exercise Science at Canterbury Christ Church University.
High-altitude training camp in Iten
During his studies, Phil furthered his working experiences by taking the role of Lab Technician for SportsLab at Christ Church, a Centre offering support and improvement services for athletes and sports teams across the United Kingdom.
Dr Damian Coleman, Phil’s personal tutor and Director of SportsLab, said: “Phil was clearly a talented athlete prior to his studies, but it is no coincidence that when that talent was coupled with the academic study of Sport and Exercise Science at Christ Church that he has flourished in such a rewarding manner”
Phil is continuing his education by taking on a PhD investigating the physiological mechanisms associated with running performance at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 94% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
- We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey