A celebration of sporting achievement – and the start of Row Britannia at the University of Greenwich


Potential future Olympians, unbeaten basketball players and International Rugby stars were celebrated at an event in Greenwich on Thursday.

Potential future Olympians, unbeaten basketball players and International Rugby stars were celebrated at an event in Greenwich on Thursday.

The first group of Ann Packer Sports Scholars were honoured for their sporting and academic achievements in an event which also saw the launch of the University's Row Britannia Challenge.

The 12 student athletes, who play competitive sports ranging from basketball to roller hockey, were honoured at an event hosted by the University and Greenwich Students' Union.

The scholarships they receive are available to elite sports people who are studying at the University and provide up to £4,000 a year for full time students in full-time study. 

Law student Alex Charles (pictured) said: "The Ann Packer Sports Scholarship has given me the ability to be able to buy essential equipment conducive to my educational success without the need to work consistently allowing me to focus on my true passion of playing basketball."

The scholarships are named after Ann Packer who won Gold and Silver medals on the track in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and studied at the university's predecessor, Dartford College of Physical Education.

The event also saw the first miles rowed in the University's Row Britannia challenge, which is raising funds for Sport Relief.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Jane Harrington, and President of Greenwich Students' Union, Henry Setter, each rowed a mile to kick start a campaign which will see Team Greenwich attempt to row 2,020 miles before the Sport Relief event on 13 March.

Speaking before her row, Professor Harrington said: "Congratulations to all of our Sports Scholars, who are clearly stars of the future. I look forward to hearing how you progress in both your academic and your sports careers.

"Studies show the positive effect of sports on mental health – it helps develop confidence. I used to teach ballet and have done a lot of running, swimming and yoga. I've done it for my own mental health as my jobs have sometimes been stressful. It's a leveller – a space to be yourself."

The University looks to provide an array of opportunities for all students to take part in sport and physical activity, and has partnerships with Charlton Athletic Football Club, the All England Lawn Tennis Club and London Marathon events. It will also be fielding a team of volunteers to support UEFA Euro 2020 this summer.

Greenwich Students' Union has 14 sports clubs and 25 teams covering a range of activities including football, dance, cricket, cheer, and badminton and aims to promote both competitive and social sporting activity.

For more information about all of the bursaries and scholarships available at the University of Greenwich visit our website.

Donate to team Greenwich's rowing efforts or find out more about Row Britannia.