Injury halted Katherine Hamilton’s diving career with the British team, but she has taken on a new challenge in the classroom.
The 24-year old Sheffield woman begins a new teaching post in Stocksbridge Junior School in September, after completing her training at Huddersfield University.
Katherine graduated with a First Class BA Honours degree in Early Primary Education. Ultra high marks earned her a Chancellor’s Prize, awarded annually to an elite group of students throughout the university.
From the age of 11 to 18, Katherine’s life revolved around competitive diving, travelling the international circuit with the GB team. She took up the sport as a schoolgirl in Brighton, before moving to Sheffield with her family. The 2006 Commonwealth Games were a highlight and she hoped to enter the 2012 Olympics in London.
Then a serious shoulder injury, while diving, put paid to her sporting career. She enrolled on the University of Huddersfield course, which includes regular school placements. This is when the ex-international sportswoman realised she had a new challenge on her hands.
“Teaching is tough and the placements were exhausting. But although I was working so hard, I was really enjoying it,” she said.
Katherine also praised the “absolutely phenomenal” teaching and support she received from course leaders at the University of Huddersfield.
Her degree includes a specialist module and Katherine chose maths. “This was because I enjoy it and I want to change people’s attitudes,” she said. “The whole culture is just ‘Oh, I can’t do maths’ or ‘What’s the point of maths?’ It’s a serious issue.”
Her main goal as a teacher will be to try and ensure that every child can reach their full potential, she said, adding: “I just love the thought that, as a teacher, I can try to make a difference to children’s lives.”