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31 July 2009 | PR 09/96

Sports student receives academic award named in memory of his grandfather


Daniel pictured with his father.

A Loughborough University student has been awarded a prestigious School of Sport and Exercise Sciences (SSES) degree prize named in honour of his late grandfather.

Third year student Daniel Sibley was presented with the GV Sibley Award having achieved the highest average grades during the final two years of his sports science degree.

His grandfather George Vincent Sibley was Head of Physical Education at Loughborough Training College – the forerunner to the University’s SSES, from 1935 to 1957 and is widely recognised as one of the founding fathers of physical education in the UK.

“The fact my grandfather had studied and worked here was had a big impact on my choice to come to Loughborough,” said Daniel. “When I started at Loughborough my dad joked there was no pressure on me and I didn’t really think too much about it. But after my second year I got some really good grades and I thought perhaps the prize really was within reach.


George Vincent Sibley.

“I didn’t know my granddad – he died when my dad was just five, but it’s a fantastic honour to receive a prize that is named after him. My family were unbelievably proud on the day and my parents both burst into tears. We’re a close-knit family and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me whilst at University.

“I worked extremely hard during my three years at Loughborough. I’m not the most intelligent person, but it goes to show that a good work ethic and motivation can really get you places.“

Head of School Professor Myra Nimmo, who didn’t realise the link between the two Sibleys until after the award was decided, outlines how prestigious Daniel’s achievement is.

“This is an objective award based on marks achieved throughout the final two years of the sport and exercise science degree,” she said. “Daniel achieved those top marks and it wasn’t until afterwards that we realised he was George Sibley’s grandson.

“It’s very prestigious to be named best student when you consider how competitive the degree is and the high quality of our students. To be the best student at the best University for sports science really is quite something. Congratulations to Daniel for his achievement.”

The GV Sibley Award was introduced to the department over 20 years ago and is one of three major prizes bestowed by the School each year.

This year the Head of School prize for the outstanding final year undergraduate sports science with management student was awarded to Emily Tuffin, and Alison Bowes received the Alan Guy Prize for achieving the best undergraduate physical education modules.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T:01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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