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Life as a BUCS athlete


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Don’t think it’s possible to fit a sporting life around the stresses of nail-biting coursework deadlines, a crippling debt, and of course that club night that you just can’t miss.

Imogen Marshall, 20, has found the answer.

Studying English Literature at City, University of London, Marshall has returned to the athletics world after recovering from injury, representing the University of London in the recent Bedford BUCS outdoor Athletics tournament.

“My uni didn’t actually get me involved with BUCS as it doesn’t have an athletics team”, said Marshall.

“I tried to find another way to compete and keep up with my athletics and that’s how I found the University of London athletics team.”

Loughborough University stormed to victory at this year’s event with a string of gold medals in the final day of competition.

The institute, famed for its sporting success, achieved 92 event points to Cardiff Metropolitan’s – who finished second – 56 points.

Loughborough’s Kathryhn Woodcock took victory in Marshall’s event – Women’s Discus Throw – with Marshall finishing in seventh position.

“The experience was amazing, I’ve been training and competing since I was nine years old and it never gets old.

“I haven’t been able to train much after having an operation two years ago but I’m getting back into it now.

“I will definitely be back next year and hopefully will be able to beat my distances and personal bests.”

Although, with The Telegraph reporting that one in four students suffer from mental health illnesses at some point during their studies as a result of increased stresses, expectations to succeed and rising fees, many do not have the time to get outside and exercise during their time at university.

A 2014 report from Sport England suggests that only 34% of students nationwide participate in high levels of sporting activity – over 30 minutes for three times a week. With 33% not participating in any exercise during the week whatsoever.

Although Marshall is quick to note the importance of university studies, she believes that student sports can act as an important “stress release”.

“Studies are more important so don’t also stress that you can’t get to training one day if you have to revise. As long as you keep things balanced then that’s what matters.

“Student sports or exercise in general is definitely a way to de-stress and escape from the books and library for a while.

“I use training and athletics as a stress release and a way of taking time off from my studies, but it is also a great way to socialise.”

With BUCS events taking place up and down the country, this summer is the perfect time to get involved. Will you be in the starting blocks?

Image Credit - Wikipedia Commons

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