Alumna selected for 2018 Commonwealth Games

28 March 2018

Grace Balsdon, a PE and Sport and Exercise Sciences graduate from Canterbury Christ Church University, has been selected as part of Team England’s women’s hockey squad for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Grace worked her way through the ranks at Canterbury Hockey Club, making it into the 2012 under-18s hockey team for Great Britain and winning a bronze medal. Having previously captained Canterbury and England under-21s, Grace is a strong presence on the pitch in defence, making her a force to be reckoned with.

Paul Carney, Director of Sport at Canterbury Christ Church University said: It’s a privilege to see such a great talent come through our University. Grace was a Sport Scholar with us for three years, achieving her Level 2 coaching qualification along the way. I’m excited to see her represent Team England this April and look forward to see what the future holds for her.”

Grace said: "It’s been a long and challenging journey to make selection in a competitive squad environment. You have to be determined and resilient, and prepared for the highs and lows that come hand-in-hand with elite sport. The continued support of Christ Church Sport has been invaluable in allowing me to train to the best of my ability whenever I am in Canterbury.


Grace Balsdon

“I am very excited to be representing my country and competing against some of the best teams in the Commonwealth. Having missed out last cycle on Commonwealth Games selection I am really looking forward to my first multi-sport Games and experiencing the atmosphere around that. It’s a really exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to the Games immensely. If we can perform well at these games it will give us huge confidence going into our home World Cup at the Olympic Park in July."

Grace’s father, Dr Andrew Balsdon, is a Principle Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences and Programme Director for Sport Coaching Science. He added: “I am really proud of Grace’s achievement. Selection to represent England at the Commonwealth Games is a huge honour and significant professional landmark. I am delighted for Grace, knowing how much hard work and dedication it takes to realise your goals.”

Notes to editors

  • The University offers a range of sport scholarships for talented sportspeople. In addition to the substantial benefits of mentoring support, free access to the university’s fantastic gym & sports facilities and sports science support, our Sports Scholarships also offer financial assistance, ranging from £400 to £1500 per annum to sports people competing in any sport.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a dynamic and innovative university, supporting all students to gain an outstanding education and enjoy an excellent student experience.

It is actively involved in public life, from its role in influencing national policy and practice to addressing real-world challenges through teaching and research.

96% of the University’s most recent UK undergraduates and 98% of postgraduates were in employment or study six months after completing their studies (includes full-time and part-time); higher than the national average, 9 out of 10 of employed graduates are also in graduate-level jobs three-and-a-half years after finishing their studies.

It is a multi-campus university with 16,200 students studying a wide range of courses across Kent and Medway, with graduates teaching in schools, providing health and social care in the community, helping businesses to flourish and injecting talent into creative industries.

It received a Silver rating for teaching excellence in 2017, a significant national endorsement of its high-quality and transformative education and is investing significantly in the student experience for future generations. This includes a £150 million campus development to support curriculum expansion in engineering and technology, and a new arts building to promote careers in the creative industries.




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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:38:00