MSJ, 2012 Leaver

I have loved sport for as long as I can remember: as a young girl sitting in front of the television cheering on Tim Henman, or sprinting through a primary school gym competition to get Beth Tweddle’s autograph. This progressed to my time at Malvern, from scoring a goal against CLC in my first ever lacrosse match, to captaining the 1st team to a fifth place finish at National Schools, to winning a silver medal with Wales Seniors at the European Championships whilst still doing my A Levels. Since school, I have played in two World Championships, won two National Club Championships, been named University Sports Captain of the Year and managed to forge a career in the sports industry.

It is so easy nowadays to look at sport on Instagram and think it is glamorous and full of highs, but there have been so many days when sport has been hard. From smashing tennis rackets as a child, not being selected on my first try-out for U19 Wales, heart-breaking lacrosse losses, missing parties and social events because ‘I had training’ and nowadays juggling a full time career whilst still playing at the top level of an amateur sport. Malvern taught me how to love sport, but also how to be gracious in defeat and resilient when - inevitably - it doesn’t go your way. I have managed to use those traits to build a career working in Sport and I am lucky enough to do something I genuinely love.

Having worked as a publicist at Sky Sports for three years, where I ran an award nominated women’s sport campaign #ShowUp, I have recently moved agency-side to manage publicity and sponsorship accounts for big clients, still focusing on promoting women’s sport. Alongside my job, I am training for my third European Championships this summer with Wales and still manage to play tennis for Ealing Lawn Tennis Club (although not quite as well as I would like). If you love something enough, you can find the time for it!

What does success look like?

Success is different for everyone. One of my coaches once told me when I was younger: “Don’t just be happy to make the team, be happy when you have shown up and performed well at the tournament”. I think that sums up success for me, striving to be the best you can be and not settling to just make the team.

What is your best piece of advice?

In a world of social media and emails, resist the temptation to hide behind those platforms. You can never underestimate how far an old-fashioned ‘phone call or face-to-face meeting can help you achieve your goals.