FE sector celebrates its Olympic heroes

9th August 2016 at 16:13
Dozens of former FE students are representing the UK in multiple sports at Rio 2016

From Mo Farah and his Mobot to Jessica Ennis-Hill’s all-round brilliance in the heptathlon, supporters of Team GB have got a lot to cheer for at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

But for those of you who like the Olympics and post-16 education, the chance to see Adam Peaty (pictured), Jazz Carlin and Nicola Adams in action is going to be just as exciting as witnessing Sir Bradley Wiggins whizz around the velodrome. Why? Because they all attended an FE college.

According to the Association of Colleges, about 50 of Team GB’s 366 athletes have attended an FE college, with 22 alone having been to Loughborough College in Leicestershire.

Adam Peaty is perhaps the most high-profile former FE Olympian, after he won gold in the men's 100m breaststroke yesterday – the UK’s first in Rio. Peaty was educated at Derby College, where he studied sports science. Apparently when he was a boy he had a terrible fear of water. He’s certainly washed those fears away.

Former Gower College Swansea student Jazz Carlin is also sporting a brand new medal around her neck after winning silver in the 400m freestyle swimming event.

But swimming isn't the only sport where former further education students are in with a sniff of winning a medal. Dan Norton of Hartpury College and James Davies of Gower College Swansea will kick-off Team GB’s hopes in the men’s rugby sevens event today – while Will Fletcher (New College Durham) and Richard Chambers (Northern Regional College) will be hoping to row themselves to glory in the lightweight men’s double sculls.

And let’s not forget about FE’s golden boy, Valegro the horse, who won double gold in the dressage in the 2012 Olympics in London. Some would claim that a horse is unable to attend an FE college in the traditional sense – but because Valegro visits Hartpury College once a fortnight to use its water treadmill facilities, the sector is surely entitled to claim him as one of its own.

Here is a full list of FE Olympians compiled by the Association of Colleges.


Nicola Adams, women's flyweight – Hopwood Hall College

Joshua Buatsi (bronze), men's light-heavyweight – St Francis Xavier Sixth-Form College

Canoe slalom

Richard Hounslow, men’s C2 – Harrow College

Canoe sprint

Angela Hannah, K2 500m – Loughborough College

Rachel Cawthorn, women’s K1 500m and team K4 500m – Berkshire College of Agriculture

Cycling: track

Steven Burke, Men's team pursuit – Nelson and Colne College

Ed Clancy, men’s omnium; men’s team pursuit – Kirklees College


Daniel Goodfellow (bronze medal), men’s synchronized 10m platform (with Tom Daley) – Loughborough College (Current)


Carl Hester, team dressage, individual dressage – Hartpury College (Equine Academy Coach)


Kat Driscoll, women's individual trampoline, Mid Kent College


Henry Weir – Loughborough College

Nicola White – Loughborough College


Will Fletcher, men’s lightweight double scull – New College Durham

Richard Chambers,  men’s lightweight double scull – Northern Regional College

Peter Chambers, men’s lightweight four – Northern Regional College

Rugby: women’s rugby sevens – 4th

Megan Jones – Loughborough College (current)

Claire Allan – Loughborough College

Abbie Brown – Hartpury College

Natasha Hunt – Hartpury College

Heather Fisher – Warwickshire College and Bath College

Emily Scott – Seevic College

Danielle Waterman – Former head of AASE Academy at Hartpury College

Amy Wilson-Hardy – Worthing College

Rugby: men’s rugby sevens

Dan Norton – Hartpury College

James Davies – Gower College Swansea


Adam Peaty (gold), Men's 100m breast stroke – Derby College

Molly Renshaw, 100m and 200m breast stroke (23rd) – Loughborough College (current)

Jack Burnell, Men's 10K marathon swimming – Loughborough College

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, women's 200m individual medley – Loughborough College

Fran Halsall, women's 50m freestyle – Loughborough College

Lianna Swan (for Pakistan), Women's 50m freestyle – Loughborough College (current)

Synchronised swimming

Katie Clark, women's duet – Loughborough College (current)

Track and field

Harry Aikines-Aryeety, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College

James Dasaolu, Men’s 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College

Richard Kilty, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College

Ojie Edoburun, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College/Oaklands College

Martyn Rooney, 400m and 4 x 400m relay – Loughborough College

Matthew Hudson-Smith, 400m and 4 x 400m relay – Loughborough College

Sophie Hitchon, hammer – Loughborough College

Chris Baker, high jump – Loughborough College

Robbie Grabarz, high jump – Loughborough College

Chijindu Ujah, men’s 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College

Adam Gemili, men’s 200m – Barking and Dagenham College

Lynsey Sharp, Women’s 800m – Loughborough College

Daryll Neita, 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Oaklands College

Holly Bradshaw, Women’s pole vault – Runshaw College


Rebekah Tiler, women’s 69kg – Calderdale College

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