United Colleges Group (UCG) were delighted to welcome gymnastics star Marfa Ekimova back to City of Westminster College (CWC) recently for a special visit.
On Wednesday December 13, Marfa returned to the CWC — where she completed her studies in NCFE Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity — to speak with students about her gymnastics career, and how studying subjects such as anatomy has enabled her to understand her body more and helped her as a gymnast.
In a wide-ranging and inspiring interview, the 18-year-old, who was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and moved to London when she was two years old, revealed that as well as focusing on her gymnastics career, she is also thinking about her long-term future and hopes to study for a degree in sports management.
Students listened intently as the rhythmic gymnast spoke about her journey to the top in her chosen sport — and why her success has not only been achieved through her own drive and self-belief, but also by support from family and friends who are always there for her during the highs and lows.
It has been a remarkable 18 months for Marfa, who was selected as Great Britain’s sole representative at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Valencia, Spain, this summer… after being nominated in the Olympic Athlete of the Year category by British Gymnastics in April.
The CWC student also wrote herself into the record books by becoming the Individual All Round Gold Medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, as well as being part of the England team that won the team bronze medal.
Max Maalimey, Curriculum Manager for Sport and Vocational Studies, City of Westminster College, said: “In a truly inspirational special guest speaker event at City of Westminster College, Marfa captivated our students with her compelling career journey.
“Sharing her experiences of overcoming challenges, Marfa highlighted the pivotal role of discipline and hard work in achieving success.
“Her insights into personal growth and the unwavering dedication needed to reach one's goals resonated deeply with our audience.
“Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance and commitment, serving as an invaluable lesson for our students as they embark on their own paths to success.”
Stephen Grainge, Governor, United Colleges Group, said: “Marfa is a great inspiration and example of what can be achieved with hard work and persistence — it was a real pleasure to talk with her and hear her thoughts on what drives success."
Tyrone Godwyn, Lecturer, Public Services and Sport, said: “Marfa's words remind us that mental toughness and the determination to succeed propel us beyond our limits.
“May her journey inspire students to navigate life's challenges with unwavering resolve, for it's in our toughest moments that we forge the strength to achieve our dreams.”