With Richmond University’s graduation ceremony just days away on 25th May, students are getting ready to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas for all of their hard work. However, one student is missing her graduation but with good reason.

Hannah Baptiste is a Marketing student at Richmond and transferred from St. Andrews University in the United States. She was on a scholarship there to play football but ultimately ended up missing her family too much and decided to return to London.

I originally wanted to study Psychology but then realised it wasn’t for me. Communications is something that I really enjoyed and so I made my decision to come here,” says Hannah. “Richmond took all of my credits from my university in the states so that was amazing as well.

The South London native joined Richmond University at our Kensington Campus in Spring 2016 and has been excelling on and off the field. When she was not studying for her Marketing course, Hannah was playing for AFC Wimbledon.

Hannah is no stranger to the game of football as she has been playing since she was four years old. She also played for England when she was 16. She made it through trials then went on to play against Northern Ireland where England won and were named tournament champions.

I haven’t played internationally since I was 16 because I was busy with my studies. But my grandparents are from Guyana so I can qualify for their team,” Hannah said. The Guyana National Team coaches contacted Baptiste after seeing footage of her playing. “I found out this week that they want to fly me out to training camp and then they have World Cup qualifiers the week after that,” says Hannah.

If Hannah gets through training camp, she will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the World Cup qualifiers and other tournaments against other countries.

Richmond University recognises that there should be more representation for women in football. So, Richmond has incorporated a women’s team in The Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA), which offers a unique opportunity for students to earn a UK and US dual accredited degree in International Sports Management while playing in a professional academy in either London or Leeds.