Abi Robson, both an assiduous student and an adept athlete, plays netball for UWE Bristol. Here, she shares her opinions on how to navigate the academic and athletic worlds, and gives a little of her sporting history.
Have you tried any other sports in the past?
I used to do a lot of swimming when I was younger and the odd summer tennis camp but nothing at a serious level.
Which have been your favourite?
Originally I preferred swimming but then I started playing tennis during sixth form and I just loved it because I enjoyed the games we played to practice the different shots!
Do you have any sporting heroes?
I wouldn’t say that I have a particular sporting hero, there are people in netball that I idolise because I aspire to be like them, such as Serena Guthrie. However, there are many professionals that I admire because of the obvious passion and pride they display towards their sport.
How do you balance university work with training?
I have a weekly calendar which I fill out every Sunday night so that I can plan what I will be doing that week. I write down all my lectures and training commitments that week and what times they are, this then allows me to see where I have gaps in my timetable to do my work. It also helps me plan my meals.
Diet is important when you’re an athlete. Do you have any tips for keeping up a healthy, but varied and enjoyable diet?
A nutritionist has been very helpful with advice to keep me eating the right kinds of food. However, I tend to just go through my student recipe book each week when I do my diary updates so that I get a variety of different meals each week containing the important food groups. I also make sure that I have some source of protein after a training session to ensure my body recovers for the next session.
Do you ever disagree with the umpires? If so, how do you handle it?
It’s important to remember the umpires won’t be able to see everything and that without them there’s no way the game could be played. So whenever I disagree I just remember that and get on with the game. There’s no point in letting it bother you and showing your frustration as the umpire will usually then watch you more closely and that could ultimately have an impact on the game.
Finally, do you have any words of advice or encouragement to share with younger athletes?
To keep striving for your goals because the rewards are so worth it.
Gabriel Ciehan – B.Sc Journalism