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Janet Reveley came to study at the Carnegie School of Sport in 1977. She is the CEO of Fit Training International, which offers training courses in the north of England. After staying in touch with her classmates over the years through reunions, Janet was motivated to do something to support students studying at the Carnegie School of Sport today.
Can you tell us a bit about why you chose to study at Leeds Beckett University?
I came to study at the Carnegie School of Physical Education in 1977, a decision which was relatively simple. Carnegie had the best reputation; it was recognised as the top physical education and sports college at the time. It was also the only co-ed physical education course at the time, and I was keen to study a wide range of sports and not just traditional girls’ sports.
The lecturers were all experts in their field. Carnegie was headed up then by the former Olympic long jumper Lynn Davies, who personally interviewed the new students.
What was your experience of coming here?
We had an amazing experience, playing cricket on the main green in the summer, learning synchronised swimming with classmates, and even carrying out a VO2 Max test on Seb Coe, who was training at Carnegie at the time.
However, my best memories from my time at Carnegie are the friendships that we created that have lasted a lifetime.
What did you do after you graduated?
I started teaching PE in London after finishing at Carnegie, and I enjoyed developing strategies for girls and disengaged young people to take part in more varied sports and physical activities.
I then moved to the north-east to set up a training company for the new emerging fitness industry, working in conjunction with Sport England to pilot new national standards in fitness and exercise. The demand was so great that we turned this into a business – Fit Training International, which I am the CEO and owner of – offering training courses in the north of England.
"Hopefully we will be helping current students to be able to stay at university and have a great educational experience, make lifelong friendships and maximise the development of new skills to set them up for their career. It is great to have played a small part in these students’ journeys through giving to the scholarship.”
Why did you decide to become a donor?
After staying in touch with my classmates over the years through reunions, I was motivated to do something to support students studying at the Carnegie School of Sport today.
Reconnecting with the university highlighted to us all the impact that alumni giving can make to current students who are at risk of not completing their courses, and the subsequent success stories that don’t happen because of this.
Hearing about the positive impact on students made us all as a Carnegie year group think about what we could do collectively to help, and it also made us reflect on our own lifelong connections and the journeys we have been on after Carnegie.
We realised we had a desire to support the next generation to have the same opportunities we had, regardless of the background they came from.
Together with the help of the Alumni team we set up the Carnegie Class of 78-82 Scholarship. Giving together was a way to cement our long-standing relationship with Carnegie and leave a legacy.