Soccer star Annie shares secrets to achieving academic and sports goals

Studying for a degree while coaching and playing football in the Premier League Northern Division is not easy – but Annie Taylor has managed to strike the perfect balance.

The Biomedical Science student works hard and trains hard as a midfielder for Leicester City Women’s Football Club (LCWFC) First Team and new head of the Foxes’ Development Centre.

Annie said: “I have a very hectic lifestyle. Balancing both my studies and my sports career is quite difficult. 

“But being very organised, making sure you have a structured plan of what you need to do and prioritising things is essential to do both at the same time.”

The 20-year-old was first attracted to study at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) because of the “inviting atmosphere” at Open Day, choosing her course because she enjoyed science.

“I really enjoy the subject and want to make a difference to people if possible,” said Annie, from near Melton Mowbray.

Annie has taken full advantage of opportunities to expand her knowledge and boost her skills, securing a Frontrunners internship as a junior conference organiser with lecturer Dr Carika Weldon.

“I was helping organise the logistics of a conference and was lucky enough to go out to Bermuda to help with the running, which was amazing,” she said.

This was her second trip to the island, having previously visited Bermuda on an academic-led #DMUglobal trip. 

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Annie spent the summer in the labs at DMU after being awarded a Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship. She carried out a research project under the supervision of Dr Avninder S Bhambra, working to develop compounds active against Human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, with promising results. 

Now she has just started her placement year at the Leicester Royal Infirmary as a biomedical science assistant.

Annie believes DMU has prepared her well. She said: “I think they go above and beyond what’s needed to ensure we are on top of the game.”

And it’s the beautiful game that occupies Annie’s time when she’s not studying or working.

Annie taylor main 2

“I think it’s really important to have something else other than your studies to keep you grounded – and it keeps things fun,” said Annie, who first become involved with our partners LCFC at the age of 16.

“I was scouted as a player, so I went to play with them in the senior set-up. Last year I got involved in the coaching side, which has led to my new role as head of the Development Centre.”

Annie will be overseeing the expansion of the centre as it grows to six different age groups, helping develop a pathway from junior football up to senior level. 

This ‘double life’ is something she hopes will continue in the future.

Annie added: “On the career side, I’m hoping either to work in the NHS in a biomedical science role or further my studies and do a PhD.

“As a footballer, I’m hoping to play at the highest level I can, the Super League if possible, and with coaching I just want to get as qualified as possible to help the future generations.”

Posted on: Tuesday 31 October 2017

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