University of Brighton Alumni Association

Lauren Roberts smiling holding a hockey stick

Combining international hockey with postgraduate study through a passion for sport

Physical Education graduate Lauren Roberts tells us about playing Hockey for Wales and how her time at the University of Brighton inspired her to pursue postgraduate study.

Lauren, who received her first senior international call up in 2019, shares how the combination of her degree and being part of a sports team help equip her with important life skills, both professionally and personally. She was also a sports scholarship student and credits the Davidson-O’Connor Scholarship she received in helping her pursue her passion for Hockey. 

Since graduating from her undergraduate degree, Lauren has now embarked on her further study journey with the university through the Teacher Apprenticeship route whilst working for St Leonards CEP Academy

My experience at the University of Brighton 

“The engaging lecturers played a pivotal role in my academic journey. Their passion for their subjects and commitment to teaching not only imparted knowledge but also inspired me to delve deeper into my studies. Their guidance and mentorship fostered a thirst for learning and encouraged me to explore new ideas and perspectives.  

“Being part of sports teams at the university taught me valuable lessons beyond the classroom. Working with teammates towards common goals honed my teamwork skills, teaching me the importance of collaboration and communication.  

“Through the challenges of training and competitions, I developed resilience and perseverance, qualities that have proven invaluable in both my personal and professional life. The practical experiences embedded within my course at the University of Brighton provided me with hands-on learning opportunities that went beyond theoretical knowledge.  

“Interacting with children in educational settings not only deepened my understanding of child development but also enhanced my communication and empathy skills. Additionally, undertaking placements allowed me to apply classroom knowledge in real-world contexts and gaining practical insights.” 

My positive memories and return to study

“Some of my favourite memories at the University of Brighton was time spent with the hockey team throughout all three years of my undergraduate degree. It wasn’t just about winning games; it was about the togetherness, the shared determination, and the unforgettable moments both on and off the field.  

“From impressive victories to the moments of pure teamwork and support, being part of the hockey team brought a sense of unity and pride that enhanced my university experience. I was also awarded the Davidson-O’Connor Scholarship and it’s safe to say without the generosity of Dr Judith Davidson, I wouldn’t have been able to fund my international hockey pursuits. 

“After graduating in 2020 with a degree in Physical Education, I recently returned to the university where I am now currently completing my primary school postgraduate through the Teacher Apprenticeship route. I work four days of the week in my school; gaining practical teaching experience, planning and evaluating lessons, and expanding my subject knowledge. On Fridays I attend university lectures to cement my theoretical knowledge and deepen my subject knowledge.” 

My proudest moments so far in teaching and sport  

“Representing the Wales Senior Women’s hockey team is an achievement that I am proud of. At our most recent competition, European Championships in 2023, we secured a bronze medal which was incredible. The opportunity to compete at such a high level and contribute to the team’s success was an experience I’ll always cherish.  

“Away from the pitch, I’ve also made a meaningful impact by helping children through their early education journey. Being able to inspire and support young minds as they navigate their learning and development has been incredibly rewarding. Creating a safe and nurturing environment where children feel empowered to aim for their goals has been a fulfilling experience, knowing that I’ve played a part in shaping their future success.  

“These achievements since graduating have brought me a sense of pride and fulfilment, reinforcing my passion for both sports and education.” 

My understanding of success 

“Success, to me, means continually striving for development and growth to achieve my goals. It’s not just about reaching the final goal but embracing the improvements and learning along the way.  

“Whether it’s in my personal or professional endeavours, success is about progress, resilience, and the determination to overcome obstacles. It’s the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve pushed myself and made meaningful strides towards my aspirations.” 

My advice for the next generation 

“Take every opportunity that comes your way and fully embrace the experience. University is a time of incredible growth and discovery, both academically and personally. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and explore different interests. 

“Engage with your studies, but also make time to participate in extracurricular activities, and immerse yourself in the university community. Most importantly, cherish every moment and enjoy the journey because these years will shape the next years of your life.” 

Alumnibrighton effectEducationgraduatehockeyinternational hockerteacherteachingUniversity of Brightonwales

Alex Petrovic • March 21, 2024

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