No Fence Sitting for this Bright Spark SportswomanGeneral

Nicolette Ramshaw at the 2016 South African Fencing Senior Nationals.Nicolette Ramshaw at the 2016 South African Fencing Senior Nationals.

En garde! Biological Sciences Honours student, Ms Nicolette Paige Ramshaw, has serious fencing skills to add to her academic prowess.

Ramshaw won a UKZN Sports Scholarship for her achievements in the sport of fencing in which she has represented South Africa.

She only took up fencing in 2014 having been involved at school in a variety of sports including swimming, horse riding, running and shooting. These diverse interests led her to modern pentathlon, which includes fencing.

Ramshaw, who was given a Dean’s Commendation in 2014, competed in her first Modern Pentathlon event last year and also took part in the 2015 Epee Fencing World Cup held in Johannesburg.

‘The UKZN Sports scholarship will help me tremendously in terms of achieving my sporting hopes and dreams while also allowing me to continue with my important academic studies,’ she said.

‘Without the UKZN Fencing club I would not have been able to begin my modern pentathlon career or fencing.’

Ramshaw completed her Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree within three years proving that she was able to maintain a balance between sport and academics.

She registered for an Honours degree in Biological Sciences this year and although sport took up increasing amounts of her time, she was still able to earn herself two distinctions.

Nicolette’s 2016 highlights included participating in the South African Fencing Senior Nationals where she was placed third winning a bronze medal in the Women’s Epee event. 

Her delighted mother, Mrs Pam Ramshaw, said: ‘I am very proud that Nicci has managed to balance her sport and academics, maintaining a high standard in both.’

Senior Lecturer in the  School of Life Sciences, Dr Dalene Vosloo, said: ‘Currently Nicci is doing her honours project in the area of Fluctuating Asymmetry in Bats Foraging at Wastewater Treatment Works under the supervision of myself and Professor Corrie Schoeman.  As her supervisor, I am proud of her achievements. She is a good student who really tries her best to balance her studies and sport, something which must be a challenge at the level she competes at.’

Professor Corrie Schoeman of the School of Life Sciences said: ‘I am thrilled that Nicci received the UKZN Prestige Sports award. She demonstrates that sports participation and academic success are not mutually exclusive. The timing of the award is auspicious given her sport of choice is competitive fencing, one of only five activities that have featured in every modern Olympic Games.’

Leena Rajpal