UCFB offers a number of unique scholarship opportunities to students of all abilities across a number of disciplines, with scholarships available based on academic and sporting achievements, as well as social mobility among other categories.

Sammy Wynne, a BA (Hons) Football Business and Media student at UCFB Wembley, was awarded the She Can Play Scholarship for her budding football career where she has represented Wales at numerous youth levels and currently plays for Oxford United LFC. Here, she tells us about how the award has helped her, and shares her highlights from her time at UCFB so far.

How has the scholarship programme helped you so far in your BA (Hons) Football Business and Media degree?

By gaining my scholarship award it has allowed me to continue playing football at a high level whilst studying my degree. This has helped me on my degree programme because when doing assignments such as creating a blog I’ve been able to reach out to my teammates and coaches for their insights into women’s football.

What made you decide to want to come to UCFB and apply for the scholarship?

The attraction of Wembley Stadium being our place of study was the biggest factor for me. It is such an iconic venue and no matter how many times you’re sitting in lectures looking out at the pitch, the view never gets old. It gives you the motivation and belief that if you work hard you are well placed to gain invaluable experiences and opportunities. In my case, the opportunity of being able to carry on playing football at a high level alongside my studies meant that I could not miss the chance of applying for a scholarship that would allow me to do this.

How has your time at UCFB been so far?

I have loved my time so far. You know that you enjoy your studies when you have work to do for assignments and it doesn’t feel like a chore. When I’ve had assignments set the studying I do for them feels more like a hobby, as well as something I enjoy and want to do.

How have you found balancing your studies and playing and training with Oxford United?

I have found balancing my studies and training fairly easy. My timetable gives me more than enough time for self-study where I can do my own research and work for assignments. This means that when I go to training and games on a Sunday, I can fully focus on my playing performance as I have all of my UCFB work under control and on time.

How difficult has it been as an athlete to have such a stop-start last 12 months or so in competing?

So far this season we have only been able to play four league games which has been really frustrating. We have barely had a couple of weeks where we have had a game every Sunday, so it makes it difficult to get into a rhythm as a team. Also fitness levels are difficult to maintain when you can’t play games – it’s even more difficult when we also can’t train as a team and have to do home workouts on our own.

Sammy in action for Wales.

Describe how it’s been to represent Wales at numerous youth levels.

To represent your country is the proudest achievement a footballer can have. I have Wales caps from under-15 and under-16 youth level and it was an unbelievable experience. When you go onto the pitch wearing your nation’s crest on your shirt, you feel privileged, fortunate and grateful for the opportunities you have been given.

What’s the highlight of your sporting career so far?

There’s a home nations competition called the Bob Docherty Cup and Wales had never won it. In 2017, it was held in Dublin and we went out there and became the first Wales under-15 team to win the tournament. I think we shocked the other teams involved and that made the victory even sweeter. It was a fantastic achievement for us as a team and a great way to finish our journey as an age group.

Do you have any advice for students looking to come to UCFB, in particular those thinking of applying for a scholarship?

I would highly recommend UCFB. In my short time here so far I have learnt so much and am developing my skills to prepare me for work in the football industry. My dream is to work in football, and now I can start to envisage how I can make this possible with UCFB. The scholarship programmes UCFB offer are vast.