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Stars encourage Middlesex students to Dare to Dream

Kanya King MBE and Maggie Alphonsi MBE inspire students to aim high at Middlesex University’s PG Connect event

Guest speakers at PG Connect Dr Mark Coulson (middle) with  Kanya King MBE (left) and Maggie Alphonsi MBE (right)

Founder of the MOBO Awards, Kanya King MBE and World Cup winning England rugby union captain, Maggie Alphonsi MBE were the star attractions at Middlesex University’s Dare to Dream evening on 24 January.

Dare to Dream is the latest in the PG Connect series of motivational talks that are designed to inspire Middlesex students and graduates to dream big, have self-belief and carve their own path as they work towards their goals.

Maggie Alphonsi MBE described her astonishing list of achievements including playing for England, being the best player in the world and ultimately winning the World Cup.

“When I achieved my goal of winning the World Cup it wasn’t fantastic, it wasn’t amazing - it was a relief. To spend 11 years working towards this goal and then finally achieve it was a relief,” she said.

“When you have a goal you need to know where you are going and you need to have a why behind the goal. For me it was to make my mum proud and I achieved this with the World Cup win.”

She also spoke of her extensive off-field achievements including becoming the first female ambassador for the men’s World Cup, being named an MBE and now working as a successful commentator across the whole sport.

Kanya King MBE also captivated audiences by talking about how she developed and organised the MOBO awards in just six weeks.

“Success in life is about the relentless pursuit of goals – there are no shortcuts,” she reflected.

“I’m a great believer in listening and learning from people who have been there before. The harder you work the luckier you get.

“Looking back my circumstances are what shaped me – it’s about how you support others and what you do and this will come back to help you later in life. You need to be open to learn from others and collaborate as education doesn’t end when you leave university.

“My overwhelming desire to have success enabled me to succeed. I re-mortgaged my house, managed to raise the necessary finance and we managed to pull off our very first show.

“From day one MOBOs has been about motivating people to be the best they can be. Everyone should have the chance to discover what they could be and everything should think big.

“It’s fantastic to be able to create a platform to honour and showcase these stories to motivate others. Over the past two decades we have celebrated 1000s of nominees, 100s of award winners and offered countless artists their first TV appearances.”

The expert panel, which included Dr Mark Coulson, Middlesex University’s Associate Professor in Psychology, delved into the mechanics of motivation and the daring discipline required to believe in yourself and your vision, even when others might not believe in you.

The evening aimed to encourage students preparing for assessments, placements or any upcoming challenges to stay focussed, aim high and keep up the momentum beyond their studies.

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