A sports student with a passion for helping others graduates from the University of Worcester today with First Class Honours.
Kristina Cartwright-Riley juggled her studies with delivering weekly walking netball sessions for over 60s in the community, as well as volunteering with The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, having herself being diagnosed with leukaemia as a child.
“When I left secondary school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so took a year out,” said the 22-year-old. “I hadn’t done PE at GCSE or A-level but spent a large amount of time playing, coaching, officiating and running sports during my time at school, and throughout my year out I realised that sport was what I enjoyed doing and I was good at organising things.”
Kristina, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, joined the University’s Sports Development and Coaching degree and went from strength to strength in her studies, achieving an Academic Scholarship Award for earning eight A grades in her second year of study, as well as being awarded The Keith Stokes-Smith Award for Outstanding Achievement within the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science.
“My course built my passion of using sport to change people lives and in the future, I hope that I will be able to facilitate other people’s passion for sport,” she said. “I am not driven by the monetary value of a job but my desire to be able to do good and help other people, thus I hope in the future I am doing something that makes me and other people happy, preferably in sport and maybe overseas.”
Talking about graduation, Kristina, whose mother is currently being treated for cancer, said: “After mum’s illness I’m just really happy and thankful that she will be there to watch me graduate. The final year at university has been really difficult with everything going on, but I am really excited to be able to celebrate what I achieved with my family and friends.”