Search

Rising swimming star and former Beckenham boy graduates with a first in Early Childhood Studies

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 August 2018

With a number of awards to his name as a star in international swimming in the UK and Jamaica, Michael, 24, graduated from the University of East London this summer with a first-class honours degree. Picture: Michael Gunning

With a number of awards to his name as a star in international swimming in the UK and Jamaica, Michael, 24, graduated from the University of East London this summer with a first-class honours degree. Picture: Michael Gunning

Archant

A rising international swimming star and former Beckenham boy Michael Gunning has graduated with a first in Early Childhood Studies.

With a number of awards to his name as a star in international swimming in the UK and Jamaica, Michael, 24, graduated from the University of East London this summer with a first-class honours degree.

“Throughout my journey in swimming and academia, I’ve always been told that ‘it can’t be done’ or ‘you’ll never make it,’” said Michael.

“Every day I give 110pc to prove all those people wrong.”

Michael said his degree course at UEL’s Cass School of Education and Communities has been really insightful and presented him with topics he had not thought about before.

He also found it fascinating to hear other student’s viewpoints on many of the topics explored.

He said: “All the lectures and staff were so helpful and made every assignment enjoyable and different in a unique way, and I actually learnt more from my peers than the textbooks themselves!”

Michael is one of very few men to enter the world of Early Childhood Studies, which has traditionally attracted a predominantly female cohort.

He said: “I really think men have an important role to play in children’s early development, but most importantly early education because all children need to have positive male role models in their life to look up to and engage and interact with.

“I’m motivated to be a role model for those young children but also the other men that are considering studying and pursuing early childhood because together we can change the lives of others.”

Michael’s passion for swimming was nurtured at Beckenham Swimming club and later at Stockport Metro Swimming Club.

At the age of 16 he was already representing Great Britain at the Open Water Swimming Championships in Rome.

“The Championships were at the same time as my GCSE exams, so British Swimming had to bring a tutor out with us so we could sit our exams at the same time as everyone in the UK,” he added.

In 2016, he was the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) 200 metres and 400 metres freestyle champion, and went on to represent Jamaica at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest in 2017, setting a national freestyle record.

He said: “I’ve have opportunities to represent Team GB and Jamaica, as my father is from Jamaica.

“Competing for a place at international level is very competitive, and I’d feel proud representing both countries.

“Right now, I’m aiming to be the Usain Bolt of swimming.”

For some, graduation might mark a time to pause and celebrate, but for Michael it was a time to step up to prepare for the Central American and Caribbean Games.

And to top it off, he won Jamaica’s 2018 Aquatics Sportsman of the Year Award, and has already qualified for 2019 World Championships in, South Korea.

“Swimming has helped me inspire a generation of athletes worldwide and with my degree, I’d love to continue this with children’s education along with their sporting ambitions,” he said.

“In the future, I’d love to go into primary school teaching, as I love working with kids and seeing their progression.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bromley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bromley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bromley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest news

51 minutes ago

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

Parents sporting ‘Say Yes To Bullers’ T-shirts packed into Bromley Civic Centre for the closing of a planning inquiry into a proposed school.

Wed, 07:00

There are three weeks left to donate to this year’s Christmas Charity Appeal and help to give families in need some happy memories around the festive period.

Tue, 08:54

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez in Anerley have charged a 23-year-old man with murder.

Tue, 07:00

Staff, pupils and parents from Bickley Park School are celebrating after winning an award for introducing a community initiative to help elderly residents.

Mon, 12:37

Detectives investigating the murder of Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez, who was from Dagenham and fatally stabbed in Anerley, have made a fourth arrest.

Most read

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bromley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Bromley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24