Hannah Jones

Qualification & subject:
Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy
Profession:
Welsh Rugby International

Why Hartpury?

I chose to come to Hartpury because of the opportunities to combine training to a high standard in rugby with studying a course that I wanted to do. When I visited, I could see that Hartpury had everything I needed to be the best both on and off the pitch and that has definitely been the case. I also realised that you’re not just a number at Hartpury – the lecturers know you by person and that was a big plus for me. Women’s sport is very popular at Hartpury and it was great to see so many girls signing up to a lot of different sports at the Freshers’ Fair. I know the girls in the rugby teams have really enjoyed it and they have got a lot better over the year.

Why Sports Therapy?

I chose to do this course because I’ve always had an interest in issues like injury and how athletes are then treated and rehabilitated so it’s great to be able to study at a place like Hartpury where there are lots of opportunities to gain practical experience on campus.

My rugby career so far

I started playing rugby at the age of eight and I’ve been hooked ever since! I was lucky enough to make my senior international debut for Wales at the 2015 Women’s Six Nations and although it was an unreal moment, I found it a really strong challenge because I was a lot younger than some of the other players. Since being at Hartpury, I’ve improved a lot, both physically and mentally, and that’s down to things like structured strength and conditioning sessions, a personal programme and getting access to top-level coaching. I played for Wales again in the 2016 Six Nations and I noticed a massive difference between the two tournaments. I’ve also played for Hartpury’s University Centre team and the Gloucester-Hartpury squad and I’ve really enjoyed it.

How my course has helped my rugby?

The things we learn in our lectures relate a lot to rugby. I can speak pretty knowledgably about injury in relation to my sport and I have an understanding of any little niggles that other people may have, although there is still a long way to go! My rugby has been pretty full on but I’ve still been able to do well with my studies. I’ve watched the physiotherapist for the national team work with some of the other players and it’s good to observe what’s going on and I can then apply it to my own studies.

What I enjoy the most about my course

I’m a practical person and being able to get hands on with the course is really useful. From therapy practicals to sport massages, I’ve been able to put what I learn in lectures to the test in a range of situations. The rehab suite at Hartpury has everything a budding therapist needs and it’s really beneficial to have that available to use as a student. 

My future

I’d love to play professional rugby and hopefully the Welsh women’s team will decide to go that way in the future. The World Cup is coming up in 2017 and that would be a dream to be involved in. My degree gives me a really good option of staying involved in professional sport, whether that’s competing or working in it, or both!