Student kicks back after injury to win karate gold

"It feels like a massive achievement. I don't think I would be where I am representing the uni or any other karate team without the help from Staffs."

Nikkisha Bailey, BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology

A karate champion is setting her sights on the 'University Olympics' after claiming a gold medal for Staffordshire University.

Nikkisha Bailey came back fighting after recovering from a serious knee injury last year to win gold at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals this month.

She said: “It was tough and it was nerve-wracking because I've never done any university competitions before but when I was fighting it wasn’t just for myself, it was for all the people at Staffs who have helped me.”

Nikkisha, 20, is from Enfield in North London and now lives in Penkhull. She took up karate aged seven and competed nationally throughout her teens but despite being encouraged to focus on the sport fulltime, Nikkisha was determined to pursue her university education.

“Karate started as a hobby and I never really thought of it as my career. I've always wanted to do offender profiling in psychology, work in prisons or work with mental health patients. That has been my passion.”

Now in the first year of her BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology degree, Nikkisha still represents the English Karate Federation and trains alongside her studies supported by Staffordshire University's Team Staffs Elite initiative. She is a Gold Scholar on the programme which provides gym membership, strength and conditioning training, sports psychology and other benefits.

After injuring her knee last year, Nikkisha had to take nine months off from competing and believes this support played an important part in recovery: “It feels like a massive achievement. I don't think I would be where I am representing the uni or any other karate team without the help from Staffs.”

“There has been times when I've been in pain, covered in bruises or I've lost my confidence and my strength and conditioning coach Nat has helped me through.”

Following her performance at the BUCS competition, Nikkisha has been selected to try out for the karate squad that will represent Great Britain at the World University Championships in Japan this summer.

Jonathan Pace, Head of Sports Development and Active Lifestyles, said: “Nikkisha's success is testament to her ability and the commitment she puts into her training. To stay as focussed and determined whilst undertaking a degree she really does deserve all the praise we can give her.

“Everyone at the Sports Hub was routing for Nikkisha at the BUCS competition and we will certainly be doing everything we can to ensure she makes the World University Championship squad for this summer in Japan.”

Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at an Open Day – find out dates and book your place.


Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911