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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Double international athlete in Badminton & Netball, Zoe Griffiths, joins the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Zoe has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.

Zoe represented Wales in Badminton and Netball in the U14, U16 and U18 categories. She then went on to represent Wales in Netball and was Vice-Captain of the Welsh Team at the World Championships in New Zealand.

“As a former student at the University of Wales Institute, University of Wales, as a mature student at LSE, and having worked in the education, public and private sectors since retiring as an elite athlete, I have first-hand knowledge and experience of the challenges that young adults and students face to keep mentally healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only compounding existing mental health difficulties; it is creating short, medium and long-term needs to support young adults as they deal with isolation, feelings of loneliness and the additional pressures of remote study, lack of socialisation and future employment uncertainty. This is all in addition to the existing challenges faced by so many students who are vulnerable and struggling to cope.

It is clear that more support needs to be made available to all students who need it; I am delighted to see that BRIT are continuing to set an example of collaboration within the charity sector and have partnered with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults.

Every young adult should feel valued and be able to participate in activities. I applaud BRIT for designing the BRIT 2021 Challenge so that it is inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part. This is a fantastic feel-good fundraising opportunity and I hope every UK university, college and student union enters teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge and encourages their students and staff to take part; at home or on campus.

Olympians, Paralympians and athletes are being invited to join the BRIT Ambassador family so young adults and students at every university and college are inspired to take part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge. In Wales we have many students and young adults living in studying in remote locations, therefore I urge Welsh sport personalities to unite and join the BRIT Ambassador family so that every Welsh university and college receives support and encouragement as they take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge.

I am thrilled to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family to help support and improve young adults toolkit to be mentally healthy and fit throughout the UK and look forward to supporting students and staff at Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity St David, Gower College Swansea and Grŵp NPTC Group, as they take on their BRIT 2021 Challenge.”

Zoe was born in Llanelli, South Wales and was an U14, U16 and U18 International Badminton Player who represented Wales.

Between 1992 and 1995, Zoe completed her Bachelor of Art degree in Sport and Human Movement at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC).

In 1996, Zoe was awarded a Thomas and Elizabeth Scholarship for Postgraduate study in Exercise Physiology overseas in the USA. Between 1996 and 1999, she completed her Master of Science (Exercise Physiology) at California State University in Long Beach. Whilst there, Zoe represented the university in Badminton and Rugby.

On her return to Wales, Zoe continued to play Netball and in 1999, Zoe was Vice-Captain of the Welsh Netball Team at the World Championships in New Zealand.

Zoe was Managing Director of FreeSpiritSports between 1999 and 2004; this was a social enterprise and sports consultancy that specialised in the development of human capability from grass roots physical activity and sport in primary schools to producing elite athletes that represent their country. She created a centre of excellence in the region; the first of its kind which produced seven International Netball Players. FreeSpiritSports was also the first provider in Wales to offer Sports Camps for girls during the holidays, coached by International Netball Players that were passionate to give back to inspire and nurture the unique talents of future generation of female sport in Wales.

Between 2001 and 2003, Zoe completed her PGCE in Education at the University of Wales.

Zoe then was part of a small team that set up a brand new school from a grain of sand in Dubai between 2004 and 2012 as a Head of Sport, Physical Education, Extracurricular and Overseas visits before working as an Educational Advisor in the United Arab Emirates to create, develop and execute a range of new initiatives and strategies across 162 Public schools.

Between 2018 and 2019, Zoe studied Business, International Relations and the Political Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

In 2018, Zoe founded Alchemy of Learning International; an educational consultancy that serves real life educational challenges both locally and globally. She continues to lead the consultancy as Chief Executive.

To find out more about Netball in Wales, please visit the Welsh Netball website.


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