On the week where thousands of you lovely lot graduate, we’ll have a new feature every day profiling one of our ‘DS-DOers’ – students who have done something unforgettable with us during their time at university.
Having one child graduate is a proud moment for any family; but for the family of identical twins Paige and Leah Caldeira there will be two graduations to celebrate.
And the pair of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) sportswomen, both 21, have spoken about how being involved with the students’ union’s women’s basketball team the DMU Pitbulls enriched their time at De Montfort University (DMU).
Leah, who studied Arts and Festivals Management, said: “Getting involved was one of the best things I ever did and definitely made my time at university an unforgettable one.
“You make lifelong friends and also keep fit. It’s definitely something I would recommend students get involved with.”
Leah was secretary of the Pitbulls while Paige, who studied Journalism, spent her final year at DMU as chair of the club and says it too was the highlight of her time at DMU.
“What a physically and emotionally draining task it was,” she said. “But I loved every moment of it!
“I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I am really pleased with how the club ran this year.
“I feel like our club as a whole has been involved more socially in the sporting community [at DMU], plus we have also developed as a team.”
Leah in action for the DMU Pitbulls.
But despite all that the pair only got involved during their second year of study. Paige explained: “I went through a phase that every Fresher does, when they sign up to every single club and attend every first class. Then I realised how optimistic I was being and had to narrow it down to a few.
“In the end in my second year of university, I finally plucked up the courage to join the women’s basketball team, whilst dragging along a bunch of friends with me too.”
Both twins agree that the high point of their time with the club was ‘Shoot ‘n’ Hoops’ in February this year.
Leah said: “Putting my course to good use by creating the first ever basketball charity event called Shoot ‘n’ Hoops [for the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust] would have to be my highlight.
“It was an unforgettable day and we were able to spread awareness of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) which many young people do not know about, so it was great being able to spread the awareness of it to young people who play sport.”
And it’s an experience that means both are sad to see the back of DMU. “I’m completely heartbroken about moving away,” Paige explained. “Leaving means I have to start ‘adulting’ now and I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet…
“I know I’ll really miss my basketball girls and competing in a sport. If anyone is looking to get involved in their students’ union, I would tell them to DO IT!
“It's one of the best things I have ever done. Being involved with DSU has helped me physically, emotionally and mentally.
“Without them my time at university wouldn't have been the same. I only got involved in my second year and I really did wish I was involved from my first year.”
Both Paige (left) and Leah (right) picked up awards at The SULETS Colours Awards 2016 earlier this year.
And Leah agreed. She said: “Honestly I'm very sad about moving on into the crazy working world.
“You don't realise how much university has an impact on your life until you leave.
“You can't wait to leave as sometimes the workload can get the best of you but when it comes down to leaving it suddenly hits you that it’s all over. I will definitely miss my basketball girls but I think I will definitely miss the university life!
“I’d like to thank DMU Pitbulls for making my time at university the most memorable. I would also like to thank DSU as without their help who knows how I would be able to juggle my degree and being secretary of the DMU Pitbulls plus working part-time, so for that thank you!”
And on that note, DSU would like to thank both Paige and Leah for all of their hard work during their time at DMU and wish them every success for the future.
You can read more stories from our ‘DS-DOers’ series here.