Graduate Olympian returns to campus for new University campaign
Published Thursday 4th August 2011
BSc (Hons) Sports Science graduate Bobby White is not only the Captain of the London 2012 GB Handball team – he’s also one of the faces of The University of Northampton’s new advertising campaign.
The advertising campaign launches this Autumn.
Bobby - who is 28 years old and from Milton Keynes - returned to campus this week to be presented with a commemorative canvas print of his advertising shoot with the University's creative agency Engine Creative.
When Bobby started his Sports Science degree at The University of Northampton in 2004, he wanted to work hard, achieve a good grade and follow a career in sport and exercise science. The opportunities that were presented to him now see him on the road to competing in London 2012 and he has inspirational advice for anyone who wants to follow their dreams.
"I was in the last year of my degree when I heard about Sir Steve Redgrave's Talent Identification Programme for Sporting Giants," Bobby explained, "You had to be under 25 years old, over 6"3 and play sports with your hands. I sent off my application and six weeks later, I was invited to the handball trials with 120 other people, out of over 2,500 applicants."
"I kept making the next cut, and the next cut, before I was shortlisted for the final 15, and then I made it into the final seven for handball talent spotting. In 2008, I moved to Denmark to play full-time out there.
"I've had various moves around Europe, where handball is a popular sport. Unfortunately, it relies heavily on funding and sponsorship, so teams can be cut or fold. I'm now off to Denmark to try out for another full-time position but the game is so competitive out there.
"My driving force is competing at the London 2012 Olympics. Handball has been identified as one of the sports of London 2012 that will provide the best legacy after the Games have finished - we can get kids off the sofa playing this sport. Handball has got a big chance to become popular; it just needs investment and someone to get hold of it.
"I'm proud to take part in The University of Northampton's new advertising campaign - Dreams. Realised is what it is all about. If I can inspire people to pick up a pen and study, or to try out a new sport, that would be great. Don't be afraid to take that next step - whether it's making an application to university or coming to an Open Day.
"I had a great time at The University of Northampton - I made great friends for life, and I'm now doing something related to my degree. The other skills you learn at university are invaluable, such as time management and discipline."
Simon Marsh, Head of Marketing, The University of Northampton, concluded:
"We are extremely proud of all that Bobby has achieved and wish him great success in his career and at London 2012. He epitomizes the difference a university can make to people's lives and their aspirations. Sports Science underpins everything Bobby is working for and will continue to provide choices for him, now and in the future."