ENGLAND WOMEN GREATS RECEIVE AWARDS
FOUR stalwarts of England women’s cricket are this week being awarded honorary degrees by the University of Greenwich, more than 50 years after qualifying as PE teachers at Dartford College.
Former England captain, the late Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, was among several former internationals and numerous county players who underwent teacher training at Dartford – an institution that was founded by the Swedish advocate of women’s suffrage, Martina Bergman Osterberg.
World Cup winner Enid Bakewell, now 76, graduated in 1963, three years after her fellow World Cup winner, Mary Pilling, 78. Former England bat Jill Powell graduated in 1978 and will travel from the States to receive her honorary degree at the age of 60.
Norma Izzard, who remains the game’s longest serving England manager, having looked after the side between 1984 and 1993, graduated back in 1954. She is due to receive her degree aged 84, despite a recent car accident in which she broke a wrist and 18 ribs.
She has been determined to attend the ceremony, if possible. Heyhoe-Flint could yet be awarded a Bachelor of Education posthumously. She already holds an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Greenwich University, which was awarded in 2003.
Bergman Osterberg founded England’s first ever Physical Education training college in Hampstead, London, in 1885, and admitted women only. The establishment moved to Dartford in 1895 where it trained women right up until 1986 under the name of Dartford College.
The College formally closed in 1976 following merger with Thames Polytechnic, which later became the University of Greenwich.
The University has decided to award honorary Bachelor of Education degrees to all those who graduated from Dartford College, in celebration of the work of Bergman Osterberg.
The University is still trying to track down any others who graduated from Dartford College in the past. The response has been overwhelming so far to the extent that an additional graduation ceremony is being planned for 2018.
The Alumni team can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org