Blog post

Derby Women in Sports and Adventure

Creative Writing student, Medha Godbole, shares her list of women who have achieved great things in sports and adventure

By Medha Godbole - 31 March 2023

Now more than ever, women are being recognised for conquering new frontiers in sport. Whether it is golf, tennis, football or cricket, women are proving their determination. The days of underestimating female athletes are long gone. Our city and University can be proud of so many women who have forged a path in sports and adventure sports. Let's hear about a few of them. 

‘Polar Preet’ - Preet Chandi

Polar Preet (Captain Preet Chandi) (MBE) is an Honorary Master of the University. She joined the Territorial Army in 2008 and then the British Army when she was 27. In January 2022, she completed a 700-mile solo trek to the South Pole. This year, she took the challenge higher and set out on her next expedition; a solo, unsupported crossing of Antarctica, the furthest unsupported solo Polar ski expedition in history. 

Chadi has recently completed her trek to Antarctica and was greeted by a homecoming event organised by her sponsors. She is recovering from various post-expedition injuries, although she is on the mend and documenting progress on her blog.

Harpreet Chandi on her Polar Expedition

Our footy journo - Kathrin Dick

Kathrin is a graduate of the University’s football journalism programme. She reports on football and racing events. She started her blog, Twelfth Man’s Voice, when she was seventeen. She has also played football before turning to sports reporting and travelled across Europe covering football and women’s motorsports.  

If you're interested in following in Kathrin’s footsteps learn more about our football journalism course and follow the team on Twitter for regular updates.

The cricket ’her’ - Leah Kellogg

Leah Kellogg grew up in Spondon, Derby and comes from a sporting family. Her siblings were badminton and cricket players, and her sister represented Great Britain in badminton at three Olympic Games. Leah trained to become a teacher at the University of Derby, however, she was destined to be a sportsperson and made her county debut as a bowler for Derbyshire against Hampshire in 2009.

She has also played for Lightning - a women’s team representing the East Midlands. Currently, she is a right-arm medium bowler for Derbyshire Women’s team. But cricket is not where her sporting acumen ends; Leah also played as a goalkeeper for the Long Eaton United Football team.

Charting the ‘Course’ - Mel Reid

This Derby girl has made her mark on the golf course. Mel Reid plays on the Ladies European and LPGA Tours, and in October 2020, won her maiden LPGA Tour event, the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Although she is not a graduate of the University, she was born in Derby.

She made her mark right from a young age, winning events like the 2004 and 2005 English Girls' Championship, the 2006 and 2007 Helen Holm Trophy and St Rule Trophy, 2007. She represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2006 Curtis Cup. Her first LET win was in 2010 at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. She also represented the European Solheim Cup Team and England in the Tokyo Olympics. 

Mel is now living in Florida and is working to make golf a more diverse and inclusive sport.

Find out more about Mel

Physical activity is an extremely valuable way of bringing people together and there are so many more who could be featured here besides these fantastic representatives. They are inspirational and we hope they continue to lead the way in the University, region and beyond for years to come. With our great range of sports teams and societies, there is no limit to what women in sport can achieve at Derby

If you are interested in sports at the University, check out our undergraduate Sport and Exercise Science courses and our Performance Sport webpages for more information. 

About the author

Medha Godbole standing infront of flowers

Medha Godbole
Masters Student in Creative Writing with Publishing

I am an international student from India pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing with Publishing. I also work as a Communications Ambassador to create content. Apart from writing, I love playing and watching cricket, watching films and listening to Indian classical and semi-classical and Western classical music. Sipping tea or chatting with my closest friends gets me going.