Two Roehampton graduates were among the England Women’s Rugby squad who claimed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year team award on Sunday, in tribute to their World Cup win in August.
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Veteran flanker Margaret Alphonsi, 30, who has won 70 caps, was in the starting line-up for the championship final. Alex Matthews, 21 who only finished her degree earlier this year, was substituted into the match in France. The championship victory was the first time England had won the tournament since 1994
The Sports Personality of the Year Award was presented on BBC television at a ceremony in Glasgow. The team’s win was announced by motor racing’s Sir Jackie Stewart.
Writing on social network twitter, Alex Matthews said: "Proud to be amongst some amazing ladies for #teamoftheyear @BBCSPOTY. What a way to finish off 2014!”. She later added: “Once again, incredible support that @Englandrugby ladies have had. Massive thank you to everyone. #honoured."
Dr Caroline Ross, Head of the Department of Life Sciences, in which both women studied, said: “Winning the World Cup Final was an exceptional result for both Alex and Maggie, especially Alex so soon after completing her degree. They must both be on top of the world again after being named amongst the best sportsmen and women in the country by the BBC. We’re so proud of them. It’s wonderful to see proof that Roehampton graduates can reach the pinnacle of their chosen sports, they are great role models for our current and future students.”
England men’s rugby legend Johnny Wilkinson also said on twitter: “Congratulations to England women's World Cup winning rugby team for tonight's award. Caps off a great year.”
Matthews graduated from the University of Roehampton with a degree in Sports Psychology in August and was a sports scholar. Alphonsi completed her Master’s qualification in Sports and Exercise Science at the University in 2007.
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