Amber Reed

Image courtesy of Rikki Teml

Amber Reed

Former Sports Scholar Amber Reed was part of the England Women’s Rugby World Cup squad who were crowned champions in 2014. England dominated the tournament and Amber, who had captained the University of Exeter Women’s Rugby Club to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championship victory the year before, helped England claim the title for the first time in two decades. Unsurprisingly, it is Amber‘s proudest sporting achievement to date. ‘It was an incredible experience and one I am very humbled to have been part of’ she says.

Amber’s natural talent and determined attitude were recognised throughout her time at university - in 2011 she won Fresher of the Year at the Athletic Union dinner and in 2013 she was awarded Sportswoman of the Year. She went on to win the national title of British Universities and Colleges Sport Sportswoman of the Year in 2013. In the same year she played in every game of the Six Nations for the England Women’s 1st team and was the leading points and second top scorer for the whole of the tournament.
Having graduated with a 2.1 in Sport and Exercise Sciences, she now combines international rugby with a full-time role at Bloxham School.

Amber has excelled in a sport which until recent times went largely under the radar whilst the male game was celebrated. Thanks to international tournaments and financial investment, and the dedication of the players, women’s rugby is now growing hugely in popularity and gaining a much higher profile.

Equality is very important to Amber in light of her own experience. ‘Everyone has a role to play in the progress of the world, across all aspects of life. If one person has an idea - regardless of gender, age, race, disability - they have the right to express it but more importantly other should have the respect to listen. I believe, with the incredible people in the world, that there are brilliant ideas out there to progress ... we just need to believe in equality to allow these to be heard.’

Amber’s biggest female role model is British Olympic gold medallist rower Katherine Grainger. As Amber explains ‘Her dedication, commitment and relentlessness is a real inspiration. She is a real-life example of how it’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many time you get back up again that counts.‘

Amber believes the best advice she can give to others is to take the same tack – to develop resilience and keep on striving: ‘Don't settle for just being better than yesterday: keep pushing yourself to find your potential.’

Thriving on new challenges and trying new things, Amber’s determination and grit is truly inspirational.
‘It's not always easy but I find joy in testing my limits and my resilience. At the moment I’m training to become a teacher and I want to inspire the kids to have the confidence to stand up for what they believe in, to challenge themselves and to treat other people as equals.’