Leeds Beckett graduates earn Sports Personality nominations
Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has become the first ever rugby league player to be nominated for the award; whilst England and Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze is also named on the SPOTY shortlist, after helping England win a bronze medal at the World Cup.
Sinfield, who is the highest points-scorer in the club’s history and the top points-scorer of the Super League era, ended his 521 game Leeds Rhinos career as Leeds completed a record-breaking treble in 2015. He finished with 3,968 points including 1,832 goals before switching codes to play for rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie.
Lucy Bronze graduated from Leeds Beckett in 2013 after studying BSc (Hons) Sports Studies and was one of England's star players as they beat Germany to finish third at the World Cup in Canada. Bronze is the first female footballer to be nominated for the award and was named in the FIFA All-Star squad after the World Cup, having scored the winner against Norway in the last 16 and headed the second goal against Canada in the quarter final.
Speaking about her nomination, Lucy said: "We did so well at the World Cup so I was very surprised to be nominated for an individual award because there are a handful of girls that could have represented the team within this category. Obviously I’m delighted and humbled that it was me, but I’m happy to be representing the England girls as a whole. I don’t see it as me as an individual being nominated for an award, I look at it as me representing what we did in Canada and what we’ve done in the past few years and the changes we’ve made. I think it’s a credit to [how much the game has progressed] that there’s a Women’s player nominated for the first time. It shows that the way people are looking at our sport is changing and that is exactly what we want.”
Sinfield and Bronze are just two of a growing list of high-profile graduates from Leeds Beckett. Piers Agget and Kesi Dryden from the award-winning dance act Rudimental, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson, Olympic gold medal athlete Alistair Brownlee and London 2012 Olympic torch designer Edward Barber also studied at the University.