Inspirational Midwifery student’s world-class sporting success.

Posted on 16th August 2016

A University of Chester student has been able to pursue her two passions of midwifery and Taekwondo, through support from the institution.

Rebecca El Boukili has just completed the first year of her Midwifery degree, while simultaneously competing in Taekwondo competitions across the country.


Rebecca, 31, from Bromborough, previously worked as a professional dancer and completed her Access to Midwifery course via distance learning before accepting a place at the University of Chester to study. Rebecca who is passionate about midwifery said: “I was so excited to be accepted on to a course where I can support women through one of the most precious times in their lives.”

She added: “It is a demanding course, but I found that I have been able to achieve my academic goals by staying organised and making the most of the support on offer.”

After missing the exercise she got from dancing, Rebecca decided to take up Taekwondo. She began training in June 2015 at the Wirral and Chester Taekwondo Academy. She said: “I quickly fell in love with the sport. I competed at my first competition in the September and was lucky enough to come away with a gold medal as North Midlands Champion. I went on to win gold at the British Championships in November 2015 which was an incredible moment for me.”

Rebecca has achieved amazing success in a relatively short space of time and she is grateful to the University for its ongoing support. She received funding for her training and competing through the University Mission Award. This is a bursary that is awarded to students who participate in activities that are consistent with the University’s foundational values and mission statement, such as sporting activities which contribute to community life. Applications for the award are open to students competing in sports at a national and international level.

Rebecca believes that the sport has enhanced her personal and academic development.

She said: “Through Taekwondo I have been inspired to encourage other women to take up sport and I have witnessed how it can empower people.” Following her community midwifery placement, Rebecca is now in the process of organising a Taekwondo/self-defence course for women to help them increase their self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

Since receiving the funding, Rebecca has won two gold medals at the North Wales Championships, gold at the English Championships and gold at the Welsh Championships. Her sporting achievements have continued and in July 2016, Rebecca entered the World Championships. After training five times a week in preparation, she brought home an impressive silver medal.

Taniya Roberts, senior Midwifery lecturer and Rebecca’s Personal Academic Tutor, said: “Rebecca is a highly motivated, caring and compassionate student. She is an inspirational student midwife!”

The sporting success that Rebecca has achieved while studying would not have been possible without her hard work, dedication and the support of the University. She said: “The support network at the University has been invaluable to me in allowing me to achieve my academic goals, encouraging my extracurricular activities and my personal development.”

She added: “There are so many opportunities available for students and I would encourage everyone to make the most of them. Research the various awards and scholarships on offer and always apply! The University can help you achieve dreams that might seem unrealistic on your own.”

Rebecca hopes to graduate with first class honours and work as a midwife, while continuing to compete in Taekwondo competitions around the country.