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Nikki Hamblin strived for both academic and sporting success in the Sixth Form at Millfield and left with three As at A-level and a silver medal in the 1500m at the
Commonwealth Youth Games in Australia.
Her time at Millfield, she says, taught her the valuable lesson to never give up, even in times of adversity. That lesson stood her in good stead when her selfless actions meant
she inadvertently became the face of true sportsmanship at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nikki, who was representing New Zealand after gaining citizenship in 2009, fell over bringing a fellow athlete down with her during the 5000m heat, after which both women helped each other up. The photo of Nikki was beamed across the globe with both ladies going on to complete the heat together. The International Fair Play Committee awarded Nikki and her fellow athlete a Rio 2016 Fair Play Award to recognise their sportsmanship. Nikki progressed to the Olympic final on appeal, where having struggled with the sprained ankle she had sustained in the fall three days earlier, came home in last place.
Away from the Olympic spotlight, Nikki lives quietly on New Zealand’s North Island. She divides her time between working as a part-time membership assistant for the national cycling governing body, studying for a Bachelor of Sociology degree and training for her continuing athletics goals. She is now focussing her attentions on the 2017 World Championships this August and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Millfield did what it does best, accelerate you to the limit of your talent,” noted Dr Laura Corr as she reflected on her school days. Adding that a refreshing lack of gender inequality meant “it never really crossed my mind that interventional cardiology was no job for a woman,” she became a Consultant Cardiologist at the Harley Street Clinic and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Foundation Trust and one of the country’s leading cardiologists.
Laura graduated from university in 1981. She continued her study of medicine with three years at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and the Royal Brompton Hospital, specialising in cardiology. She was awarded a PhD in 1991 for her work on coronary arteries and her academic success did not end there, with one particularly notable award from the Medical Research Council to train in angioplasty in London and France, amongst other prizes and honours.
After 13 years of long hours in the operating theatre at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and following her own health problems, Dr Corr moved to focus on her private practice in Harley Street and is passionately involved in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease before intervention becomes necessary.
With that passion, and little bit more time, came the opportunity to co-author ‘Eat your way to lower cholesterol’ in 2014. Work as an author was not unusual for Laura, who was previously Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal for eight years as well as publishing papers and editorials on risk factor management and angioplasty.
To add to Laura’s projects, she is also heavily involved in charitable and education work, sitting on the board and advisory council of the British Heart Foundation and having set up two new cancer charities in recent years.
James Guy is a well-known OM from recent years whose life as a swimmer has remained closely attached to Millfield since graduating in 2014. Until January this year, the two-time silver medal winning Olympian’s training was based at Millfield under the tutelage of Jol Finck. He honed his craft, as they say, in the Millfield Prep and Millfield swimming pools, having relocated with his family from Lancashire in 2008 to pursue his swimming dreams.
He rose to international prominence in 2013 and in 2015 become the 200m freestyle World Champion, beating London 2012 silver medallist Sun Yang of China, and sensationally anchoring the 4x200m freestyle relay to a historic gold at the same competition.
Most recently, James achieved two silver medals at Rio 2016, his first Olympics, in the 4 x 200m freestyle and 4 x 100m medley relays. He also performed well in his individual races, narrowly missing out on bronze in the 200m freestyle. Racing against Michael Phelps, he said, “was like boxing Muhammad Ali.”
His time at Millfield was dominated by swimming of course, but he has many fond memories of school life and concludes; “I don’t know where I would be today without Millfield. I really learnt to keep going, keep striving and never give up.”
Giving something back, he has spent some of his limited free time giving talks to current Millfield pupils and sharing his insights into life as a professional sportsman and how to stay motivated and overcome challenges. James has also hosted swimming training camps for junior swimmers and is committed to encouraging youngsters to pursue their own aquatic dreams.
Now based out of the National Swimming Centre in Bath, James has his sights set on the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and Tokyo 2020, hoping to add to the 18 British records and 12 international medals already under his belt.
Professional rugby player Ollie enjoyed excellent rugby success on the Millfield pitches, winning the Rosslyn Park Sevens and playing A team rugby throughout his five years at Millfield. His school reports focus on his sporting abilities and outgoing personality amongst teachers and peers, even noting that he won the 400m house athletics final whilst running in his rugby socks and taking on a field of more seasoned track runners.
“Millfield made me a better man – more polite and a great sportsman,” he notes, and after graduating in 2009, he went on to play full-back for Harlequins. A seasoned sevens
player, Ollie spent a large part of his recent career playing for England in the Sevens World Series and rose to prominence at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 when Team GB won a silver medal in the rugby sevens, losing to a dominant Fiji side. Rio was the first Olympics since 1924 that rugby had been included, and the firsttime for rugby sevens.
Ollie announced his departure from Harlequins shortly after the Olympics to pursue rugby sevens opportunities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most recently, Hong Kong. He will now continue to travel the world in pursuit of further Rugby Sevens success and hopefully another Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020.
The principal aim of the Society is to keep members of the worldwide Millfield family in touch with each other.
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