As the first British Athlete to win medals at the European Championship, Olympic Games and the World Championships, we didn’t think that Beth would have had time to study. When we found out that she went to John Moores University to do a sports science degree we decided to give her a call and, well, ask her how to be really, really successful.
What made you choose to study in Liverpool?
I was already training in Liverpool and I wanted to continue with my studies so I looked around and spoke with John Moores University and they offered me a place to do a sports science degree. As well as being a good university, it also had the advantage that it was 10 minutes from my gymnastics club, so it worked out perfectly. They were so accommodating and allowed my gymnastics career to fit in with my academic choices.
What is the fondest memory of studying in Liverpool?
I loved studying there and I think it is pretty difficult to pick out a fondest memory, as there are so many. I love the city itself and it changed dramatically throughout my time there. I love the mixture of nightlife, restaurants, shopping and I made some great friends throughout my time living there.
How did you manage to juggle your training commitments and your studies?
The university were very accommodating towards this. I was lucky in the fact that I really enjoyed my course and my personal tutor helped when there were clashes with Uni deadlines and gymnastics training.
Looking back on your time in Liverpool is there anything you would have liked to have done differently?
Not at all, I think you learn from everything you do, so if I did make mistakes along the way then I learnt from them.
Did your studies help you in your post competitive career?
I am now a director of Total Gymnastics, and I think having done my degree there were definitely various parts of it that have helped me with that role. I also did a couple of work placements during my time at Uni which helped introduce me into work life.
Do you think that studying at University is still worthwhile, given the costs of attending?
I think it is definitely worthwhile. There are many different reasons to attend uni, obviously you can achieve your degree but it also teaches you a lot of other things, especially if you decide to move away from home. I learnt so many things, such as how to manage your time, learning to live on your own, cooking for yourself and managing your money.
Students love reality TV shows – what has been the highlight of your TV career so far?
I absolutely loved doing Dancing on Ice. It came at the right time for me and helped me to decide what to do with my gymnastics career. I learnt a new skill and met so many new friends.
Given all of the success you have achieved throughout your career what advice would you offer to students who are looking to succeed in their own chosen career path?
Make the most of Uni, learn as many skills as possible, as they will help set you up in life. A lot of people say that your Uni years are the best of your life and they’re spot on. I miss Uni and would love to re-live that period of my life!