Grimsby student chosen as face of Sheffield Hallam University's campaign
A SPORTY Grimsby girl's face will appear on a giant billboard that welcomes people into Sheffield.
Sports development student Sophie Johnson, 20, has been chosen as the face of Sheffield Hallam University, to represent them as a "coach of the future".
She will appear on buses, magazines, videos, and be one of seven students to appear on the giant billboard welcoming people to Sheffield – which will replace one of London 2012 gold-medallist Jessica Ennis.
But it won't be the first brush she has had with Sheffield's most famous sporting resident – she often sees Jessica training in the English Institute of Sport, which hosts some of Sophie's training sessions and lectures.
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Sophie is due to finish her degree in a couple of months but, while visiting her parents in St Augustine's Avenue, Grimsby, she told the Telegraph she was grateful for the opportunity.
"It's a bit weird that my face is going to appear on buses and billboards but it's a privilege to be chosen," she said.
Netball-lover Sophie was picked because of her work as an ambassador for sport over the last few years.
She worked with Grimsby Town Football Club's Football In The Community Scheme while studying at the Grimsby Institute before she went to Sheffield to study.
Last year, she was picked by the university and funded by football's Premier League – beating 300 other applicants – to spend three months coaching in impoverished townships in South Africa.
Sophie said: "My time there was a real eye-opener – all the children had such ambition and a passion for sport and education.
"Sometimes we take for granted everything we have and it made me realise that you have to take every opportunity you get."
Just weeks after her return in July, Sophie went to work in the London Aquatic Centre, looking after celebrity swimmers, including America's Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin and China's Ye Shiwen.
"Lochte was lovely, Phelps seemed arrogant and Ye Shiwen was really down-to-earth, despite the language barrier," Sophie said.
She is hoping to do the same at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and has already applied for a position through her university.
And her overall goal is to work abroad and promote sport in other countries.
Sophie added: "The Olympics brought everyone together – and that is exactly what sport does and why I am so passionate about it."
The campaign Tomorrow's You will be launched later this month – look out in your Telegraph soon for more.
ON THE WEB: See Ryan Lochte in action at the 2012 Olympic games at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk