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Wales Olympian Jasmine Joyce shares the inspiration behind her passion to teach

Jasmine Joyce of Bristol Bears Women. Photo credit: Ryan Hiscott/JMP

UWTSD PGCE student and Wales Rugby International Jasmine Joyce has told how her passion to teach was inspired by a teacher at school who encouraged and motivated her to succeed.

Jasmine, who is one of just three Welsh women named in the initial 24-strong GB Women’s Sevens squad for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo said: “My PE teacher Rachael Thomas, at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, was one of the driving forces which led me to where I am now.

“I’ve always wanted to train to be a teacher probably because of the good experiences I had at both my primary and secondary schools. In particular Rachael was an amazing support when I started my rugby training, encouraging me to succeed.”

Jasmine started her PGCE course at UWTSD in September and said it was one of the best decisions she’s made.

“Since Joining UWTSD, I am exactly where I want to be, combining my sporting career with training for a job that I know I already love,” she said.

Jasmine is currently enjoying a 6-week placement at Pontarddulais Primary School as part of her course.

“Because of the current lockdown situation, I am helping to prepare online work for the pupils. It’s been such an amazing experience despite the restrictions and has fuelled my love for teaching even more,” she said.

“Like all other students, I was nervous at the start, but the support of lecturers has been amazing. Any questions are answered immediately, and I feel closely supported at all times. I’ve been able to form a close bond with other students through social media groups. It means we’re in touch constantly and can support and encourage each other.

“I can’t wait to graduate, and I would like to start teaching as soon as possible. I’m training three times a week during the evenings with games taking place at weekends, which means I am able to teach during the week. I also want to be able to inspire youngsters as part of my new role to be active and keep active. I know I can help to motivate the girls in particular, showing what is possible through hard work.”

Elaine Sharpling, Academic Director of Teacher Education at UWTSD’s Athrofa: Institute of Education said: “The teaching profession is enriched when people from different backgrounds and with different experiences and talents make a choice to be a teacher. Jasmine is a very successful PGCE student and we are confident that her story will inspire children to aim high and reach for those ‘Olympic rings’ in their own lives.”

Jasmine, who currently plays for Bristol Bears Women, was one of the first British women to play rugby on the Olympic stage after the sport was reintroduced for Rio 2016.

The year before, the St Davids-born winger was selected to play for the Wales sevens team at the Dubai sevens tournament.

Jasmine helped Wales claim seventh spot in the World Series qualifiers in Dublin in August 2015 and made her Wales XVs debut in the 2017 Women’s Six Nations.