World Cup winning rugby captain Katy Mclean MBE, from South Shields, has received an honorary fellowship from Sunderland University, where she studied Sports Studies.
It is in recognition of Katy's achievements and her services to rugby and women's sport.
As England Rugby's fly half and captain of five years, she led her team to World Cup victory in Canada in 2014. She became the first woman to play rugby for England professionally and has 78 caps for the national team. Now, she has her sights set on Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games.
A graduate of the University of Sunderland, Katy completed a Sports Studies BSc in 2007. She then gained a PG Cert in Education in 2011 and began teaching at Bexhill Academy in Sunderland, all while playing top-flight Women's Rugby. Today, at the Stadium of Light she described her honorary fellowship as 'something to recognise all of the girls'.