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International rugby league player and former Titans’ captain graduates with first-class degree

Posted on 16 July 2019

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Primary Physical Education and Sports Coaching student Chris Rushworth graduates with a first-class degree in Primary Physical Education and Sports Coaching today, alongside his commitments as an international athlete representing Great Britain in Rugby League.

27-year-old Chris from York captained the University Rugby League team; the Trinity Titans and he was s​elected to represent Great Britain on the GB Pioneers Rugby League tour in Turkey in September 2018. The aim of the tour was to raise the profile of Rugby League and develop the sport in countries with limited Rugby League provision. He received a £425 bursary from the University's Inspiring Futures Sporting Excellence Fund to support his international commitments.

Following his selection for the GB Pioneers and a successful season as Captain of the Titans, Chris was shortlisted for the Student Sport category at the Leeds Sports Awards in February where he received the ‘Highly Commended’ award.

Speaking of his time at Leeds Trinity, Chris said: “I wasn’t planning on playing rugby at university, as I had set myself for putting everything into my degree with no distractions. But then I signed up with the Titans on the first day, have had four committee roles including captain and still graduated with a first in my degree.”

He added: “I just love Rugby League – it’s a lifestyle, a family and truly an experience that has changed my life and I wish it could go on! And just to make sure a piece of the Titans stays with me for life, I am writing this from a tattooing chair where I am having the beautiful badge branded on my leg!”

Chris also participated in the Fiji volunteering programme with Think Pacific, an international volunteering company in partnership with the Fijan government. He spent four weeks in the country delivering youth and sports coaching projects in underprivileged communities, helping to transform the lives and opportunities for children in the area.

Sarah Todd, Sport Development Manager at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Chris has been an active member of the Leeds Trinity community since joining us three years ago and has excelled in both his sporting and academic achievements. He has represented the University and Great Britain in Rugby League, whilst also sharing his passion and knowledge of the sport in Turkey and Fiji. We look forward to welcoming him back in September.”

Chris is now preparing to start an MSC in Health and Wellbeing at Leeds Trinity University this September, with plans to go travelling after completing his master’s study.