A Spanish student is set to begin her degree at the University of Worcester thanks to a link between the University and a major European basketball club.
This is the result of a longstanding partnership between the University of Worcester and Spanish club, Valencia Basket.
"It's exciting, but I'm so nervous," said the 18-year-old, from Valencia. "In Spain I studied in English classes, but it's not the same because now I have to study all the subjects in English, so I think it's going to be a bit difficult but maybe in three months I will be good. It's a good opportunity to improve my English but also to play basketball."
Inma grew up in Ciudad Real, in Spain, and started basketball at school when she was eight years old. Six years later, while at a basketball camp at the club she supports, Valencia Basket, coaches spotted her talent and offered her the chance to train with them as part of their ladies junior side. Moving to Valencia with her brother, she worked with Valencia Basket for two years, alongside studying for her Baccalaureate.
It was through this connection that for the last three summers Inma has taken part in the Worcester / Valencia annual basketball summer camp, part of the partnership between Valencia Basket and the University of Worcester. This has already allowed students from Worcester to gain experience abroad with the Club in a variety of fields, including Sports Therapy, Sport Exercise Science and Business. The camp sees youngsters from both the UK and Spain come together at the University of Worcester for a training camp, which involves coaches from the University of Worcester and Worcester Wolves but also Valencia Basket. Participants hone their sporting skills alongside English language lessons. Having been impressed by the facilities, Inma decided to study at Worcester.
"When I first came here it was a surprise to me because I thought it would be like Spain. In Spain it's only two or three buildings, but here it is very big," she said.
"I have seen pictures in the media when the Worcester Wolves play at the [University of Worcester] Arena and the atmosphere looks incredible. It's a great facility and very modern."
Inma, who plays at point guard, has already been in the UK for a month taking English language lessons. She is spending two weeks training with the Worcester Wolves women's squad, before university life begins in mid-September. She said she was looking forward to attending a Worcester Wolves BBL match.
Ryan Emery, Worcester Wolves Women's Head Coach, said: "I am thrilled to be able to welcome Inma to the University of Worcester to help not only her basketball journey but also her academic journey."Inma is the first player to come to the University of Worcester from our partners Valencia Basket. She has attended the last three Worcester Wolves/Valenica basket summer residential camps and we hope is a trailblazer for more players to follow in the future."
Mick Donovan, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the Institute for Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, said: "We have enjoyed a very close and productive partnership with Valencia Basket for three years that has seen our students from Sports Therapy, coaching science and Business Studies experience excellent exchange opportunities. To be welcoming Inma as the first University of Worcester student from Valencia, following her positive engagement in the Worcester / Valencia camp is both exciting and significant. She has shown that she is a talented athlete and I am sure will be go on to be an excellent student and make a great contribution to our University community."
There are a limited number of places at the University of Worcester available to start in September 2018 for well-qualified applicants.
For more information visit www.worcester.ac.uk or call 01905 855111.