Cardiff Metropolitan student Sophie Gibbs-Nicholls has qualified for the 2016 World Eightball Pool Championships. Having retained her place in the England ladies squad at the end of a year in which she won the Nations Cup team and singles competition, she has now come through the squad's internal qualifiers to join six others in England's World Championship team.
Sophie said "I'm so excited to have made it into the team and to be part of the World Championships. I didn't expect it to happen after only one year within the squad. It will open up so many opportunities for me and I hope to help England win the title. We have a strong team and have high hopes for the competition".
Sophie is aware of the pressure that will come from competing for the first time at a World Championship, but her sport psychology studies and the support network at Cardiff Metropolitan University have provided her with the best possible platform from which to compete at the top level.
"Taking a Masters in Sport Psychology at Cardiff Met has enabled me to apply the skills I have learnt throughout my course during competition. Emotional control and regulation is really important in order to perform well at big events. I always try to keep my thoughts positive and remain focussed. I am really grateful for the support that Dr Mikel Mellick (CSS Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Athlete Mental Health) has given me in my studies and my sport. Both areas are really important to me and I never thought that I would be able to balance the two in this way. Having this support from the university and Cardiff Met's athletics union has made a huge difference to my wellbeing and ability to cope".
The World Championships take place from 19th-29th of June in Blackpool and include teams from as far afield as Australia and South Africa. Sophie will take part both in the team and singles events.