13 Aug 2012

OU students Alex Danson and Helen Richardson win bronze in the women’s hockey

Congratulations to OU students Alex Danson and Helen Richardson who won a Bronze medal in the women’s hockey.

Alex, who is working towards an Open degree, scored the opening goal in the bronze medal play-off match which saw the team go on to beat New Zealand 3-1.

On winning the match and the medal, Alex told the Daily Mail, ‘Four days ago we thought our dreams were shattered, but bronze became our goal and we were not going to go away with anything less.’

Helen who is studying for a BSc (Hons) in Psychology told the Nottingham Post, ‘It is incredible! I went to the Olympics in Sydney, in Beijing and I have always wanted a gold medal. It wasn't gold but to be able to call myself an Olympic medallist for the rest of my life, is, well . . . just so, so nice.’

The bronze medal is the first Olympic medal won by a women's hockey team in 20 years, adding to the phenomenal success of the GB team who finished third in leader board, with an outstanding total of 65 medals – 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze.

The OU has seen a number of its students compete in the 2012 Olympic Games this summer including Business Studies student Dani King, who won gold as part of the women's team pursuit, and Psychology student Etienne Stott won gold in the canoe slalom. Also competing were synchronised swimmer Katie Dawkins, badminton player Imogen Bankier, table tennis player Liam Pitchford, water polo player Rosie Morris archery competitor Naomi Folkard.

A new sport-themed qualification has also launched this year, the BSc (Hons) Sports, Fitness & Coaching, which expands the existing Foundation Degree in Sport & Fitness to full honours. Find out more here:

About The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.7 million students and has more than 264,000 current students, including 18,000 overseas.
The OU has been one of the top three UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2010/11 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating.
Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 21 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 50 million downloads.

The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

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