Jordi Matthews is your average, fun loving student at Manchester Metropolitan University – but with a difference. When Jordi isn’t socialising with her friends or studying hard, she’s on the pitch, and not just any old pitch…a Rounders pitch. Jordi plays and captains for the Rounders England elite Under 19 squad and for her university Rounders team, MMU Rounders.
From the age of 7, Jordi has always played a variety of sports including football and cricket, but Rounders was her biggest passion. She was first introduced to the game in primary school and has played ever since. At the age of 13, she was given the greatest opportunity to represent her country, as she explains:
I started playing Rounders at primary school where we were entered into a local tournament – which we won! From there, I played in secondary school where I captained my year and school house teams and I led my teams through an unbeaten sequence. In Year 9, my PE teacher put me forward to attend the England Under 14 trials where I progressed all the way up to the Under 19 squad.”
Throughout secondary school, Jordi trained and played in tournaments every week, alongside assisting the younger students with their training in order to gain more practice and experience. Her family were her biggest supporters, especially her Dad, who took her up and down the country for training sessions and games when she was selected to play for the elite England squad.
After leaving secondary school and in between playing Rounders for England, Jordi went on to study Public Services at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was awarded a Sports Scholarship for Rounders and to this date still plays and captains for the university team.
Jordi asserts that playing Rounders has had an enormous impact on her life. From her studies to her confidence, Jordi believes Rounders and sport as a whole has played its part.
Rounders has had a great impact on me. It has given my character confidence and the determination to succeed. Rounders has given me a positive attitude which impacts my studies as I am always motivated.”
Jordi’s statement mirrors Women in Sport’s (WIS) most recent survey findings. In 2016, WIS published the ‘Sport for Success’ report which highlighted the importance sport has in developing skills and qualities valuable for women’s personal progression.
There is no doubt Jordi will continue to play Rounders as she progresses through her adult life, which will work well with her chosen career path as she explains:
Sport is an important aspect of my life. Playing sport makes me passionate and committed which is important for my career goal. When I leave university, I will become a firefighter and playing sport will compliment this aspiration because I will be able to keep fit and have good health.”