Katherine Hamilton’s globetrotting life as a member of the GB diving team came to an abrupt and painful halt because of injury.
But now the 24-year-old is rising to a new challenge after making a big success of her teacher training degree course at the University of Huddersfield.
Katherine, from Sheffield, graduated with first class honours in her Early Primary Education BA degree.
Top marks mean that she is a recipient of a Chancellor’s Prize, awarded annually to an elite group of high-achieving students throughout the University.
And in September she starts her teaching career, with a post at Stocksbridge Junior School in Sheffield.
Between the ages of 11 and 18, Katherine’s life revolved around competitive diving, travelling the international circuit with the GB team.
She took up the sport while still a schoolgirl in Brighton, before moving to Sheffield with her family.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games were a highlight and she had her sights set on the 2012 Olympics in London.
But a serious shoulder injury put paid to her sporting career.
She said: “When I was diving I always thought I would become a coach. But after my injury I found it too hard to be in that environment when I couldn’t dive myself. So I had a long hard think.
“Primary teaching was always something at the back of my mind and I thought I could do that because I love being around children.”
She enrolled on the University of Huddersfield course, which includes regular school placements.
She wants to try and ensure every child reaches their full potential, adding: “I just love the thought that, as a teacher, I can make a difference to children’s lives.”