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Leeds Beckett: Paralympian Receives Honorary Degree

Category: disability

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Paralympic athlete, Victoria Aggar, has received an honorary degree from the university.

An alumna of the university’s School of Sport, Victoria was awarded an honorary doctorate in Sport Science on 17 July. 

She said: “I am honoured to return to Leeds Beckett University to receive an honorary doctorate in Sport Science.

“Leeds Beckett will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the place in which my career in sport started and the skills and experience I obtained during my time there have stood me in great stead over the years.

“I am passionate about giving something back to the place that contributed to the development of me as a person and look forward to developing a longer-term relationship with the university.”

Victoria won 100m gold in athletics before turning her attention to rowing and enjoyed an impressive six-year stint in the British Rowing team, culminating in two world championship titles and a Paralympic bronze medal. 

Victoria achieved her world titles in 2006 and 2009 for rowing and was part of Britain’s mixed coxed four team that came third at Beijing 2008. 

Named as one of the ‘Top 20 Most Influential Women in British Sport’, Victoria has remained actively involved in high performance sport since retiring. She worked as Athlete Services Manager at the British Paralympic Association from 2012-2016 and is a non-executive Director on the board at the English Institute of Sport. 

Victoria is an advocate for promoting and protecting clean sport and she joined the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) athlete committee in 2014 and is a national trainer for UK Anti- Doping. 

In 2017, Victoria was appointed as the Chair of the British Athletes Commission, an independent organisation that advises and supports athletes on world class performance programmes. 

Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, said: “We are very proud to welcome Victoria back to the university and confer this award upon her. Her achievements in her career to date are remarkable and she has demonstrated what can be achieved with determination and hard work; she is a true inspiration.”

Victoria graduated from Leeds Beckett with a BA (Hons) Physical Education in 2001.

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