Join us as we honour two of Bath’s best – Amy Williams and Jason Gardener

21 June 2017

Staff, students and members of the public are invited to the conferment of Honorary Degrees on Olympic Champions Jason Gardener MBE and Amy Williams MBE on Friday (June 23).

Both are not only outstanding Olympic gold medallists but contribute significantly to the life of the University and the City of Bath.

The degree ceremony will start at 4pm in The Edge and will be followed by an interactive talk-show session hosted by BBC Radio 5 presenter Kate Grey, herself a former Team Bath swimmer.

Guests are asked to be seated by 3.45pm and the event will finish at approximately 5.15pm, with drinks served in the foyer of The Edge afterwards.

Anyone who would like to attend is asked to please contact Lisa Ashcroft by email. There are 30 public places available and they will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Both Jason and Amy trained at the University of Bath during their stellar sporting careers and remain familiar faces around the campus.

Amy won Gold in the women’s Skeleton event at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, in doing so becoming the first British athlete to win a solo Winter Olympic Gold medal in 30 years and the first by a woman for 58 years.

A local girl, Amy was educated in Bath at Hayesfield School and Beechen Cliff School before completing a Foundation Degree in Sports Performance from the University of Bath in 2007. Amy also has family ties to the University, her father, Ian, is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

“I’m flattered but delighted to be awarded an honorary degree,” she said. “The University of Bath, and especially its outstanding sports facilities, has been a very important part of my life for many years, ever since my school days here in Bath. I could not have achieved what I did without the opportunities provided by the University.”

Jason was also born and brought up in Bath where he attended Beechen Cliff School and City of Bath College, before graduating with a BA (Hons) in Media Communications and Sociology from Bath Spa University in 2003.

The ‘Bath Bullet’ first started training at the University of Bath in 1997, coached by Dave Lease. In 2002, Jason began training under the watchful eye of Malcolm Arnold OBE, one of the most successful athletics coaches in the UK and a fellow honorary graduate of the University of Bath.

Under Arnold’s tutelage, Jason went on to become the 2004 Athens 4x100m relay Olympic Gold Medallist, 2004 Budapest 60m World Indoor champion and four time 60m European Indoor Gold Medallist (2000, 2002, 2005, 2007). Jason is also a member of the exclusive sub-10 second club for 100m having clocked a personal best of 9.98 seconds.

“I am delighted and honoured to be chosen to receive an honorary degree from the University of Bath for services to sport,” said Jason, who is currently President of UK Athletics.

“I owe much of my successes to many people from the city of Bath and support staff at the University who have played an integral part in enabling me to reach the highest level in my sport, for which I am truly very thankful.”

Director of Sport at the University of Bath Stephen Baddeley said: “Perhaps the most important thing to say about Jason is how genuinely liked he is around the Sports Training Village to which he is a regular visitor.

“He is respected by our sporting community for his achievements and immensely popular amongst staff and members for his warm, friendly and charming character. I am delighted that he is being honoured with this well-deserved accolade.

“As a resident of Bath and a graduate of the University, Amy’s historic achievement in winning Gold in the Winter Olympics brought immense profile and recognition to the University of Bath and it is highly fitting that the University is recognising her considerable contribution through the conferring of an honorary degree. I’m extremely honoured to have been selected to deliver her oration.”

Amy and Jason will also be officially starting the Olympic Day Run at the Sports Training Village at 12pm on Friday. Click here for more information.

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