Graduating Race Walkers have spring in their step
Jo, the UK record holder and veteran of both the Beijing and London 2012 Olympics and Tom, 23, who recently became the national 10km race walking champion graduated in BSc (Hons) Sport Performance at a ceremony at the University's Headingley Campus.
Speaking about her time studying at Leeds Met, Jo said: "It's been fantastic: I'm happy to finally graduate after being a stressful year with the Olympics last year and having my studies alongside that. 2010 was a very special year for me because I won the Commonwealth Games and Leeds Met were fantastic giving me support with time off my uni studies so I could go out and train for Delhi. I feel quite sad to be leaving Leeds and my training partners now as I've moved back home but happy to be finally graduating at the age of 28!"
Tom added: "Studying and training at the same time is never easy but the focus always was on the training for me and then I realised I really enjoy what I'm doing and as the years went on I felt like I really grew as a student as well as my athletics career really taking off. Without Leeds Met I couldn't have done either."
Whilst studying at Leeds Met, the pair have been under the watchful guidance of coach Dr Andi Drake, who spoke of his delight at their academic achievements: "It's hugely important that both Jo and Tom have got a degree to stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers. The training environment here at Leeds Met has improved them as athletes and I'm proud of them for combining their studies with the hard work they've put in training."
The Leeds Metropolitan University graduation celebrations took place at the University's Headingley Campus from Monday 22 to Friday 26 July, where over 5,000 students graduated over five days, alongside ten honorary degree recipients. Comedy legend Barry Cryer and Emmerdale star Gaynor Faye were among the well-known names to be awarded honorary degrees at Leeds Metropolitan University's summer graduations.