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Student Grace Arrowsmith smiles at the camera while standing in front of the Edge Hill University crest

News story

Student’s scholarship win helps keep big league rugby ambitions alive

November 28, 2023

A Rugby Union player's Edge Hill University Sports Scholarship is helping her keep focused on making it big in the game.

Year 2 sport and exercise science student Grace Arrowsmith from Newton-le-Willows already competes at the highest level with Lancashire Ladies and has her sights set on breaking into the first-team squad at St Helens RFC.

Grace’s scholarship award is helping fund travel to training and matches, reducing financial pressures. And her complimentary gym membership is helping her stay in tip-top condition, growing and building strength to meet the demands of the rugby pitch.

Grace is also encouraging girls to follow in her footsteps in what is still a male-dominated sport. While in school, she was instrumental in setting up a girls’ rugby team, coaching and mentoring her peers to win all their games. She has even returned to her former school, St Peter’s C of E Primary School, to teach girls and boys.

With many years of competitive rugby ahead of her, Grace is proud of all she’s managed to achieve so far:

“I am most proud of making my Super League debut at 18. After filling out the form to apply for the scholarship, I had the chance to go on loan to Huddersfield Giants and make my debut.”

Student Grace Arrowsmith

But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Grace; she had an enforced period out of the game she loves:

“In 2020, I broke my leg and couldn’t play for 18 months. I struggled mentally not being able to play rugby for so long. Watching my friends all continue and succeed without me was hard. After a long time out, returning was hard, but the support I had around me made it possible.”

Grace juggles a hectic schedule of studying, working, training and playing. Her course is helping her develop vital skills and life at Edge Hill keeps her grounded:

“Doing practicals and working out of my comfort zone doing presentations has improved my communication with fellow students and on the rugby pitch.

“And I appreciate the opportunities and support Edge Hill offers. I enjoy being part of the University’s rugby community. It’s allowed me to meet so many new people and build new friendships.”

Edge Hill’s Sports Scholarships aim to enhance students’ sporting performance, as part of a broad programme of scholarships for prospective and current students which recognise practical and academic excellence. 

Edge Hill University’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity offers a variety of degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level, from coaching to sports therapy. 

November 28, 2023


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