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This Girl Can 2018 Kat group P1070246Ex-England rugby player Kat Merchant and former Uxbridge College student and Millwall Lionesses player Rianna Dean inspired girls from west London schools as part of This Girl Can 2018.

The visits by the World Cup rugby winner and Lionesses footballer backed the national campaign to encourage more women to take part in sport and physical activity.

Ex-England rugby player Kat Merchant (pictured with the girls) gave an inspirational talk and training session to girls from west London schools to mark the This Girl Can 2018 campaign at Uxbridge College, organised by Eloise Newman, Course Team Leader and Sports Lecturer. Kat shared her triumphs and challenges with the group, as well as talking to Uxbridge College students. Starting her sporting career as a gymnast before transitioning into rugby, Kat found the strength and skillset developed in gymnastics helped her to progress quickly in the sport and was invited to England trials early on. She was unsuccessful in her first attempt at selection but used this to motivate herself to succeed further.

She told the girls: “I’m really pleased to be here as part of the This Girl Can campaign, it’s such an important campaign. You girls, you can do anything you want to, any sport you set your sights on go for it and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, because you can. Find your thing and go for it.”

Kat earned her first international cap during the 2005 Six Nations, and after several unfortunate injuries she worked hard to once again represent her country at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens; 2010, 2014 Women's Rugby World Cups and coached a Women's rugby team from Sri Lanka in 2015. Overall she earned 58 caps, scored 44 tries and was part of the World Cup winning team in 2014. Now she is working hard to grow her own successful personal training business and coaches Chesham Stags RFC Men’s teams.

There was also a talk by former Uxbridge College Sports student and international footballer Rianna Dean, now with Millwall Lionnesses, having previously played for Arsenal Ladies.

Rianna spoke about how education played a big part in her achievements and highlighted how Uxbridge College allowed her to study and train at the same time, working with her to help her meet her deadlines. She emphasised to the girls, “It was only right that I gave my lecturers the same respect back, by putting in the hard work and producing good quality work. You can do that in your life too, you are in control of the hard work you put in to whatever you do.”

Martina Ashton, Section Manager for Sport at Uxbridge College, said: “It was brilliant to have Kat Merchant and Rianna Dean here for Uxbridge College’s annual This Girl Can event and just as good to see the girls from a total of seven West London schools learning new skills and gaining inspiration. Many of them knew very little about rugby, so it was a great chance for them to try out some basic skills, and also get a flavour about how success at the highest level is simply about hard work and commitment.”

Uxbridge College’s This Girl Can event also involved Zuu training - a style of training using movements from the animal kingdom - as well as pilates, boxing, handball, netball and an educational workshop focusing around sports development and the different career opportunities available to the girls in the sports and leisure industry.

Schools taking part in the event were: The Harefield Academy; Dormers Wells High School; Nower Hill High School; Ruislip High School; Haydon School; Wembley High Technology College; Vyners School.

For more pictures from the day go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/uxbridgecollege/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155945961970283

Capture 11 copy v2Art & Design students from Uxbridge College have been exhibiting their original works of art at the Hyatt Place West London/Hayes at an exclusive event.

The eclectic Capture exhibition launched with a successful Private View and was then opened to the public. The work was specially created for the event.

The multi-discipline exhibition included fine art, sculpture, animation, illustration, photography, architectural design, graphic design and designs for interiors.

Inspiration came from a range of sources among which were Southall's Asian culture, the old and new of Hayes and Southall, and the rich history of manufacture in Hayes.

Students also designed invitations, flyers, posters and logos and ran a social media campaign to promote the event.

Dominik Strobel, General Manager at Hyatt Place West London/Hayes said: “With our Hyatt Thrive platform, Hyatt is committed to serve the people, the environment and the community and we are absolutely thrilled to have partnered up with Uxbridge College on this special occasion. The students did an incredible job finding their inspiration and interesting facts about our local area for both Hayes and Southall. We are pleased to have supported their talent and developed new skills such as working towards a deadline, organizing a public event and executing art project on specific theme/topic. We see some very talented aspiring artists and wish all great success in the future.”

Student Iona Adhar, who photographed the artists at work and managed the social media campaign, as well as creating her own work for the exhibition, said: "Although not without its challenges, my classmates and I have produced some incredible pieces relating to the local area and have all experienced an insight into the working world of exhibiting artwork. We are truly grateful for this opportunity"

David Storer, Course Team Leader for Art & Design, said: “This collaboration between our students and the team at Hyatt Place West London/Hayes was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience the working life of being a practicing, exhibiting artist. The exhibition, which was created, curated and run by the students themselves as part of work experience for their course reflected the high quality of work, creative individuality and engaged personal enquiry our course here at Uxbridge aims to instil in its learners.”

BA Student AmbassadorsA Travel and Tourism student from Uxbridge College joined Carol Vorderman on a special all-female BA flight to mark International Women’s Day.

Chelsia Afonso (18), who is one of 32 BA Inspire Student Ambassadors, flew from Heathrow to Glasgow (pictured) to commemorate International Women’s Day on 8 March. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and the flight was planned and delivered by female employees.

Chelsia (sitting behind the passenger taking the selfie in the photo) became an Inspire Student Ambassador last year after applying for the role following work experience for the company, during which she had worked in various customer service areas including at check-in, boarding and in the passenger lounges. As an ambassador she is part of a team of peers and BA staff visiting schools and colleges to talk about the opportunities on offer, including work experience, apprenticeships, and jobs such as customer service representatives, cabin crew and training as a pilot. She also interviews other students hoping to be selected for the programme.

Chelsia, who is studying the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Travel and Tourism, said: “It was a lifetime experience to be part of the BA International Women’s Day flight with Carol Vorderman, and such an amazing opportunity to see women working in so many different roles within BA. These included female pilots, dispatchers, flight planners, baggage handlers and loaders - and it was great to see the female pilots on today's flight because most of the time when I fly it's male pilots. I believe that we as women can do anything to achieve our dreams especially with companies like BA doing so much to encourage more women into the industry.”

“It is also great to be part of the Inspire Student Ambassador Programme. I’ve enjoyed meeting other student ambassadors, and interviewing other students for the programme has helped me improve my interview skills and feel more confident.”

Chelsia has applied for degree courses in Airline and Airport Management, and added: “My dream has always been to work as cabin crew but I’d be interested in a wide range of roles in the industry. Being an Inspire Student Ambassador has been a great experience to add to my CV too.”

Melissa Bridge, Course Leader in Travel & Tourism, said: “We are really proud that Chelsia was chosen for this exciting event on International Women’s Day in her role as a BA Inspire Student Ambassador. She is living proof that Uxbridge College’s Travel and Tourism qualifications are a fantastic way into a wide range of opportunities in the industry, especially through our links with Heathrow, as well as offering a springboard onto a university degree.”

Watch BA’s video of the flight at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTyB6vQ_RaQ

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