The captain of England women's rugby sevens team, who lectures at West Thames College in Isleworth, has revealed she was nearly lost to basketball.
Abigail Chamberlain was one of 20 players to sign full-time contracts with the Rugby Football Union after England Women's Sevens turned professional last month.
The 29-year-old, who has taught sports and public service at the college in London Road for the last two years, only took up the sport aged 21.
Shooting hoops was her first passion and she represented her university team at basketball before being converted to rugby by Jo Yapp, a former great of the women's game.
Having made the switch, her rise through the ranks was rapid and she first represented England Women's Sevens in the European Championships in Germany in 2009.
"I preferred basketball, and played it at university level. It wasn't until I was 21 and introduced to rugby sevens by Jo Yapp that I realised I may be better at rugby than basketball," she said.
Asked what the future held, she added: "If we win gold (at the 2016 Olympics in Rio) who knows! If it hadn't been for the support I received from my colleagues at West Thames College I wouldn't have got this far."
* West Thames College offers BTEC sport diplomas for students aged 16 and above, among a range of other courses. For more information visit www.west-thames.ac.uk/en/courses