They may be used to wowing us on the international sporting area but former NPTC Group of Colleges’ students – Welsh football talent Ben Davies, Netball star Nichola James and Paralympian Rob Davies – shared the limelight with 200 students at the NPTC Group of Colleges’ Annual Graduation Ceremony.
They were awarded Fellowships from NPTC Group of Colleges at the annual graduation ceremony which took place in Swansea University’s Great Hall.
It’s the 11th ceremony hosted by the College, a fully accredited member of the University of South Wales, Trinity Saint David, Glyndŵr University and Swansea University.
Ten students gained First Class Honours Degrees including: Charlotte Webber, BA (Hons) in Business; Sion Mosler, BA (Hons) in Business Management and IT; Sarah Younger, BA (Hons) English and History; and a further 21 students gained Distinctions in various subject areas.
The trio were in good company with The Right Honourable Mr Peter Hain, Mr Michael Sheen, Mr Dan Lydiate, Mrs Olive Newton and Mrs Margaret Thorne having previously been awarded this accolade along with Mrs Gaynor Richards MBE who was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 2012.
All three are being recognised for their contribution to sport locally, nationally and internationally with both Nichola and Rob attending.
Nichola James, Welsh Netball star is a past BTEC Sport student from NPTC Group of Colleges. Nichola has been fortunate enough to travel with her sport and went to the World Championships (2011- Singapore), World Youth Cup (2009- Cook Islands), Senior European Championships (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), U19, U21 European Championships along with other international games and Celtic Dragons NSL (2010-2015).
Nichola went to the Commonwealth Games in 2014, won a silver medal with Wales at Netball Europe in 2015 and was part of the outstanding Welsh squad that travelled to Sydney last year, topping their pool and gaining their highest ever world cup finishing position in 24 years.
Rob Davies was born and bred in Wales. He played semi-professional rugby until he suffered a spinal cord injury whilst playing; it left him wheelchair-bound at the age of 21. While undergoing rehab at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, he was encouraged to take up table tennis by Paratable tennis international Sara Head.
Rob is a past student of Coleg Powys, completing a Sports Performance and Enhancement Foundation Degree in 2010.
In December 2015, Rob regained the world number one ranking in the men’s class at the European Championships held in Vejle, Denmark – and is now focused on preparing for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Ben Davies is a Welsh international left-back and Tottenham Hotspur first team player. He is a former NPTC Group of Colleges’ BTEC Level 3 Sport & Exercise Science student.
On 19 January 2013, Davies scored his first goal for Swansea against Stoke City in a 3–1 victory. In doing so, at 19 years and 270 days, he became Swansea’s youngest ever scorer in the Premier League. Now a regular in the Welsh national side, he has helped his country qualify for their first major tournament finals since the 1958 FIFA World Cup by claiming a place at Euro 2016 in France.
And as all of Wales knows, the performance that the Wales squad gave throughout the competition was monumental, and the team created Welsh football history by reaching the semi-finals.