Published on 03 November 2022
Meet the superstar athletes from the University of Sunderland.
This year’s team of elite sportsmen and women lined up to meet Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University.
The Team Sunderland Elite Athlete Scheme exists for student athletes performing at an advanced level, providing them with financial support and opportunities for personal development.
This year’s eclectic mix of athletes include a former Olympic gymnast, basketball players, golfers and American footballers.
Laura Hockaday, Sport Development Officer for Team Sunderland, said: "It's great to be able to support this year's group of elite athletes.
“We're looking forward to seeing their development across the year. We've got a fantastic group of dedicated, talented athletes across a range of sports and each one has earned the right to their support.
"We hope that through the funding we'll be able to help play a part in their journey as athletes."
The Elite Athletes will be able to use the funding provided to obtain the right equipment for their chosen sport while also putting funds towards travel costs.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, said: “Every year I come away from meeting the students on our Elite Athlete Scheme feeling awestruck and inspired by their talent and their commitment.
“It requires an immense amount of discipline and dedication to excel in a sport, so it is particularly noteworthy that our students combine their rigorous training and development with the demands of their academic studies.
“Our Elite Athletes are an enormous credit to their sport and to the University of Sunderland and they demonstrate that hard work, focus and belief can take you a long way in life.”
This year’s Elite Athletes are:
Phillipa Willis, Volleyball
Amy Tinkler, Gymnastics/Cheerleading
Molly Gardener, Rugby 7s & 15s
Katelyn Little, Gymnastics
Leah Pattison, Judo
Eirini Kokinaki, Volleyball
Alice Walton, Volleyball
Pru Hubbard, Aquatics
Simon Jakab, Football
Sam Digman, Rugby Union
Morgan Donaldson, Archery
Niall Bennison, Golf
Ellie O’halloran, Discus & Shot Putt
Anya Rose Mckenzie, Golf
Karolina Kacirkova, Rugby
Monhamed Attia, Karate
Joshua Hutton, Olympic Weightlifting
Sasha Dworkin, Fencing
Connor Mason, Basketball
Lewis Blackburn, Kickboxing
Michael Guirguis, Basketball
Grace Mackie, Football
Christan Hall, American Football
Charlotte Spark, Rugby Union
Daniel English, Blind Football