Savannah Sturridge

Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons)

Savannah has set her sights on helping the next generation of sporting talent reach the top, after illness derailed her ambitions to become a professional sportswoman. She now thanks Birmingham City University for giving her the confidence to carry on.

“I’ve always loved sport. Growing up, I’ve seen the ins and outs of sport because of my family, and have always been fascinated by it. I have never been forced into it; it has always been a part of me. To then be held back by a period of glandular fever and pneumonia, and told by doctors not to play again, was a huge lifestyle change and incredibly frustrating.

Sport is often sadly a short term career due to illness, injury and age. So I wanted to help athletes and those aspiring to be, to be in sport for as long as possible, so I decided to channel sport into my academic life. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a family of hard workers, my mom especially, and that’s one of many key attributes I proudly take from her. She has always told me to keep focused, stay driven, and lead from the front whilst remaining humble and success will follow.

Originally, my first choice university had high entry requirements for the course that I wanted to do, but sadly I did not meet them in all of my subjects. For me, it was really disappointing that, despite achieving an A* in Physical Education, I was not accepted. Instead, I chose my insurance choice of Birmingham City University rather than going into Clearing.

I’m glad I did. There were various reasons why I chose Birmingham City University, but to go to a university where the chancellor, Sir Lenny Henry, is from the same ethic minority background as myself, that was very important to me.

I was excited at the prospects of challenging myself in an environment that was new to the lecturers and staff as the course was so new at the time. Therefore it meant that the staff would be looking to achieve the best possible from their students as they are also making a reputation for themselves. I knew that the course leaders would be looking for students to excel and I was looking to do that too, and prove my academic ability.

This is my third year at the University, and it has given me everything I dreamt it would. In my first few months of being a student I led a warm-up for Kidderminster Harriers Football Club academy players and I continue to help with sports science testing days with them. I have also helped with Warwickshire County Cricket Club sports science. I’ve even had the chance to interview international athletes for UK Athletics as a volunteer at their competitions.

I am hoping to go on to study a Master’s and if I can, then a PhD. I would love to publish my own research and become a lecturer to encourage the next generation. That’s my main goal but it will take incredible hard work to get there.

To me, I AM BCU means having the best support around you, whilst simultaneously being given a space to improve yourself. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”