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20 July 2017

State-side Success for King's Students

In recent years King’s has seen a number of students gaining sports scholarships to the USA.

Shannon Vickery, Katie Hanscomb and Pearllan Cipriano recently returned to the school to catch up with staff and students, talking about their lives in America.

Shannon and Katy headed to America to play football. Katy joined Thomas University in Georgia where she has been playing for the Night Hawks Women’s Soccer Team. Shannon joined Southwest Baptist University (Missouri) in her freshman year, transferring to Evangel University in Springfield last Fall. She initially played in Division 2, and is now in Division 1.

Describing a typical day, Shannon explained: “I would be up early for weights or fitness, then go to class, which would finish around 4pm. I’d then most likely take a nap ready for evening practice and finally I'd do any homework I had before going to bed.”

Training – during the playing season – is typically every day for around two to three hours. Practices tend to be focused on fitness and ball work and during the spring, strength and weights are incorporated.

Shannon is thoroughly enjoying the experience: “It is very different from the UK because you are treated more like an athlete than a ‘footballer'. You are also a student-athlete and are supported in the classroom to get good grades, which is very important. I have been fortunate to travel all over America and to play against some nationally-ranked teams with some of the best players, and to have met some amazing people from all over.”

Pearllan left King’s to join Emmanuel College in Georgia. She plays tennis in the Conference Carolinas (NCAA Division 2). [Fitness] training is every other day and tennis practice is every day with Sundays off, depending on the semester and the competition schedule.

When asked how tennis in the US differs from in the UK, Pearllan said: “It's different, playing singles in England – I only play for myself and no one else. In the US I play for myself and for my team, so my team is very supportive and we are behind each other. The format is also different. But the quality of matches and the performance of players are nearly the same. They are all tough and hard, which is what I like, but the drive and the competitiveness of players are all the same.”

She added: “I’ve really enjoyed playing tennis over in America; it's a great experience to have and I highly recommend it. Also I’ve made a lot of friends while playing tennis, not just teammates but other athletes and non-athletes.”

Talented tennis player Jordan Clayton has also been enjoying life in the USA. He joined Middle Georgia State University to continue his training.

Four more King’s students will be following in the footsteps of Jordan, Pearllan, Shannon and Katy. Making their way across the Atlantic are Sarah Hill, Lucie Waddon and Phoebe Licence, who have all gained sports scholarships to play ‘soccer’. Taylor Stote is heading for New Mexico State University to play golf.

King's has a proven track record of developing elite athletes. Outstanding technical coaching and first-class facilities, including a double floodlit astro-turf hockey pitch, have meant that those with exceptional ability have been nurtured towards taking the next steps at the highest levels of performance. Notable former students include England international cricketer Jos Buttler and GB hockey goalkeeper and Olympic gold medallist Maddie Hinch. King's College passionately believes in the value of sport and the positive impact that it has upon the young men and women who participate in our programmes. It has been with a sense of pride that we have seen a number of sportsmen and women leave us to continue their journeys into professional sport both in the UK and further afield.

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