Laura on her 2019 season achievements
This year has been my second year as a fast-track degree Fashion Buying and Merchandising student at Falmouth University and I was so happy to be offered a sports bursary, especially as I study off-campus in London at the Fashion Retail Academy. I think it’s amazing to be recognised despite this and it has been great to come down to Falmouth and spend time competing with the athletics team at varsity events and meeting other bursary students. It has allowed me to broaden my friendship circle and make the most of my university experience. My sport is athletics, specifically high jump, and with this I travel quite a bit for competitions across the country and sometimes Europe. The sports bursary has helped me get to these places to allow me to compete at high level competitions.
My 2019 outdoor season has been promising. Whilst it didn’t begin the way I had hoped with my performance at BUCS, I later found out the nerve issue I thought had gone, in fact was still very much a problem. Since becoming aware of this, my coaches and I have come up with some coping strategies, as well as seeking further medical advice. One of the major coping strategies we are using is a reduced run up (4 strides instead of the full 8) which allows less pressure to be put on my nerve. This has worked amazingly and has seen me jump the highest I have in 2 years. This has given me huge confidence as it shows my strength and speed are very much there.
My most successful achievement of the season so far has been the England Athletics National Championships where I jumped an equal season’s best of 1.76m and came 5th overall. I was over the moon with this as it was one of the strongest fields I’ve ever seen and it was great to be attempting heights I haven’t seen in over 2 years. This currently puts me 2cm below the British Senior Championship qualification. My aim is to achieve this standard and continue reaching heights and getting closer to my personal best. It is also very exciting to think ahead to when my nerve problem is no longer there and I can have full use of my take off leg - something that may or may not happen by the end of this season.
For now, I am working on perfecting my shorter run up to aim for higher heights, as well as continuing investigating what exactly is going on with my nerve. I still have a few competitions left of this season, which I am really looking forward to, and then I will be beginning winter training in mid-September. I will also be starting my second and final year at Falmouth University, where I hope to continue achieving for the athletics team. I'm very grateful for the continued support from the bursary, especially through a tough season with an ongoing sciatic nerve issue.
Here is a breakdown of my achievements since being a bursary student:
- I began my 2018 season representing England at an International event in Hustopece (Czech Republic).
- I achieved a silver medal at the Indoor British University Championships – where I travelled and stayed with the team for the long weekend, which was great fun!
- I won the gold medal at the Indoor Essex and Eastern County Championships.
- I won the bronze medal at the Outdoor British University Championships.
- I won the Senior Southern Inter-County Championships, where I represented Essex.
- I received the silver medal at the U23 National Championships.
- Most recently, I achieved the bronze medal at the Senior England Championships and CAU Championships.
- Gold medal at the Southern Athletic Championships
- Second place at the Southern Inter-county Championships
- 5th place at the National Age group Championships