Grace Balsdon - from CCCU sport scholar to Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Physical Education and Sport Exercise Science graduate, Grace Balsdon, was part of the England women’s hockey team who secured a gold medal for the first time at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Grace, who plays hockey for Hampstead and Westminster, also finished the tournament as joint top scorer with six goals.

In 2021, the talented hockey player also scored the winning goal to help Team GB Women's Hockey team secure the bronze medal and a podium position at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Grace was an Elite CCCU sport scholar whilst studying Physical Education and Sport Exercise Science from 2011- 2014, receiving a bursary and support from the University to help her balance studies alongside her important sporting schedule.

Grace has spoken of her time at CCCU and the importance of the support of being a sports scholar whilst studying for her degree.

She said: “I was extremely privileged to join the Sport Scholarship programme. Training at the University’s facilities was invaluable and being in an environment that supported me both physically and mentally really enabled me to achieve my goals.”

CCCU Sport Scholarship

The University's Sport Scholarship programme is recognised by Sport England’s Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and the University as a Dual Career Accredited Site, which acknowledges an enhanced level of academic flexibility, allowing talented athletes to balance their studies alongside a sporting schedule.

As a sports scholar, students enjoy:

  • a financial bursary
  • University gym membership
  • personal training
  • mentoring,
  • sports science support
  • an environment that will help them to achieve both sporting and academic potential.

Sport scholarships are available in a range of sports, including disability sport.


of scholars said it had a positive impact on their progression within their chosen sport.

The University has relationships with several high-profile clubs, which enables elite scholarships, including Canterbury Rugby Club and Kent County Cricket Club, where talented athletes may combine playing a high standard of sport with their university studies.

Find more information about the Sports Scholarship on our website. And a huge congratulations too CCCU alumni Grace!


of our scholars said that being part of the programme has had a positive impact on their academic achievement.