Meet the Elite Sport Alumni

We’ve seen a lot of talent come through the University of St Mark & St John, and we’re proud of the legacy that our sports department is creating. Read on to meet some of our alumni and discover the incredible achievements they’ve racked up.

Elite Sport Alumni - Rhea Gayle


Rhea Gayle

Plymouth Marjon University elite sport alumni Rhea Gayle is a three-time British diving champion.

London-born Rhea, from Lewisham, won her third 1m springboard gold medal in 2014 at the BritishDiving Championships  to complete a superb hat-trick of titles. She also won the title in 2011 and 2012 though, unfortunately, Rhea was unable to defend her national crown in 2013 due to injury. Rhea also competed as a finalist at the World University Games in 2015.

Elite Sport Alumni - Robyn Birch


Robyn Birch

Ashford-born Robyn Birch, from Middlesex, claimed gold and bronze medals at the 2014 British Gas Diving Championships in Sheffield. She also won a silver medal at the 2015 European Diving Championships. 

Elite Sport Alumni - Cassie Patten


Cassie Patton

Cassie won bronze at the Open Water Swimming Olympics in 2008. In three years at the British Championships (2006-2008), she won bronze in the 400m and silver in the 800m, bronze in the 400m Freestyle and silver in the 200m Butterfly, and silver in the 800m Freestyle. At the World Championships in 2007, she took silver in the 10km Freestyle (only three seconds behind the gold medallist).

Elite Sport Alumni - Megan Penny

Body boarding

Megan Penny

Megan was the British Women's Bodyboarding Champion, 2014 and came in fourth place at the European Bodyboarding Championships in 2015.

Elite Sport Alumni - Kath Endacott


Kath Endacott

Kath won Gold in the 4 x 100m sprint relay and Silver in the 100m sprint at the Commonwealth Games, 2010 and was named BBC South West Sportswoman of the Year.

Elite Sport Alumni - Helen Glover

Rowing (pairs)

Helen Glover

Helen Glover, along with Heather Stanning, won gold in the women’s coxless pairs at the Summer Olympic Games in 2012. With Polly Swann in 2013, she became world champion at the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea. Again with Swann, Glover won the European coxless pairs in 2014, making her the first British rower to hold Olympic, World and European titles at the same time.

Partnered by Heather Stanning in 2015, Glover held onto her European title at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. The two went on to retain their World title at the World Rowing Championships 2015 in Lac d'Aiguebelette.

After these triumphs, Glover was ranked number 1 female rower in the world by World Rowing and in 2015, FISA announced that Helen Glover and Heather Stanning had been given the award for 2015 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year.

Elite Sport Alumni - Jemma Rose


Jemma Rose

After achieving great things at Marjon and building an impressive football career, Jemma Rose is currently playing for FA WSL club Arsenal as a central defender. Jemma has represented England, having made her debut at senior level back in November 2015. Jemma was named the FA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2011. 

Elite Sport Alumni - Jon Rudd


John Rudd

John was Head Coach of the England Swimming team at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He coached RÅ«ta MeilutytÄ— to her gold medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke in the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Ben Proud to double gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Elite Sport Alumni - Rochelle Clark


Rochelle Clark

Rochelle Clarke MBE is England's most capped rugby player. She represented England at the 2010 and 2014 Women's Rugby World Cups and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for her services to rugby. She is in the England squad for the 2017 Rugby World Cup.