Sports student Michelle Boyle

Michelle Boyle

Aspiring Judo Olympian Michelle Boyle moved to Wolverhampton from Edinburgh in the summer to train at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, as part of the GB squad performance programme.

Keen to combine competing with studying, Michelle enrolled for the Level 3 extended diploma in sport to give her the qualification she needs to progress to a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching Practice, specialising in martial arts, at the University of Wolverhampton.

Twenty-year-old Michelle said: “I had already covered some of the modules when I studied in Scotland so the tutors at college have tailored the course specifically for me.  I attend lessons from both the first and second year of the course so that I don’t have to repeat what I’ve already done and can study topics that I haven’t covered before.

“And they are very supportive of me being a competitive athlete and are flexible with deadlines for assignments to take account of my competition commitments.”

Michelle, who is profoundly deaf and is supported in lessons by a sign language interpreter and an electronic note taker, added: “The support I have has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and means I can focus on learning without having to worry about taking notes at the same time as lip reading. I don’t see deafness as being a disability, it’s just a disadvantage and I’m not going to let it get in the way of me achieving what I want to achieve.”

Michelle, who has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Japan, won gold medals in the junior and senior competition at the British Judo Championships in December 2015 and, in January 2016, won gold in the junior and silver in the senior category of the Scottish Open Judo Championships.

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