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Two sporting graduates from Sunderland are honoured for their contributions

Published: Monday, 30 November 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Sunderland University has awarded two of their highest-sporting achievers with honours for their accomplishments.

Both graduates have been recognised for their outstanding achievements towards inspiring people to improve their fitness levels and stay healthy for the long-term.

Katy McLean, England’s World Cup-winning rugby union captain, and Jonathon Riall, Team GB’s head coach for the Paratriathlon team, have been acknowledged for their sporting prowess at the University’s annual awards ceremonies.

The winter graduation ceremonies, which were held at Sunderland’s celebrated Stadium of Light stadium, allowed graduates to embrace their accomplishments with loved ones. Mclean was presented with the Honorary Fellowship of the University award, while Riall was presented with Alumni Achiever of the Year.

Katy was the first female to play professional rugby for England and has 78 cups to her name for the national team. On top of playing top-flight Women’s Rugby and gaining her degree, she also teaches at Bexhill Academy in Sunderland.

Mclean described having the opportunity to captain England to a World Cup as “very special”.

“That was easily my proudest moment, we worked so hard for it and so many things had happened, it was a massive relief if anything but also I felt very proud of everything we had achieved as a team,” she added.

Having only been a graduate for ten years, having qualifying with a Sports and Exercise Development degree, Jonathon is one sporting star who has certainly gone on to achieve bigger and better things. He was named Team GB’s head coach for its first ever Paratriathlon team, who are currently readying themselves for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Lecturer Dr Ian Whyte, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Sports and Exercise Sciences at Sunderland University, described Jonathon as a “superb ambassador for the institution”.

“His work with British triathlon has not only seen necessary developments of that sport but in particular has led to fundamental changes in the way people with disabilities can now access triathlon through the Para-tri movement,” he added.

Grad Plus has a wide range of sports graduate jobs for those considering a career in this sector

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