Get to know: Callum McCulloch

Hi my name is Callum McCulloch but everyone calls me Cal, I am 21 and I am studying Architecture.

What sport do you play and what is great about it?

I play basketball and have done since I was 18 years old. Before then I rowed for 5 years, I am not sure if you’ve rowed before but it is not the most exciting sport; challenging, satisfying and rewarding yes but fun wouldn’t be my adjective of choice. So to make a change to basketball, a fast paced team sport with such a massive culture and history behind it, I couldn’t help but get stuck in! Plus the training is way less punishing than rowing training… let’s just say I’ve never thrown up from basketball training.

Pictured: Callum McCulloch

Why did you choose UWE Bristol?

I actually chose Bristol because my coach at college put me in contact with the then head coach Guy Coles who is now the head of performance sport in UWE. I had a connection with the programme, and it turns out that the uni was 4th for architecture at the time so I thought it was perfect, plus it’s a long way away from home which is exactly what I wanted.

What’s great about living in Bristol?

Bristol has a lot going on. If you wanted to, you would be able to find something different to do and new people to meet everyday. It is very much a young person’s city, with two large universities and a couple of smaller ones, you walk down the street and there’s just young people everywhere. It’s a very happening place, plus the nights out are always good. Personally, as an architecture student I also love the cities architecture.

How does the Performance Sport Programme support you?

For the past 3 years I have been able to be a performance athlete, which means constant support from the S+C coach Adam who is the best at what he does. I also have had access to the gym and court free of charge whenever it is free which has helped me develop so much. I had to play catch-up in a big way so for me having those opportunities was priceless. It also helps to motivate me and to feel appreciated within the programme as well, as if all the sacrifice and hard work is being recognised.

What is your biggest or proudest sporting achievement so far?

Well captaining the 2nd team last year and not only leading them to perfect season but also winning the cup final was a massive accomplishment, but my biggest sporting achievement happened a couple of months ago for me. I have been called up to play professional basketball for the Bristol Flyers in the BBL. So I have worked hard and got to a point where, in my final year of uni I will be playing professional basketball as well as holding down my degree. Huge achievement for me, to be a professional athlete has been a goal of mine for a long time whether rowing or basketball, and for it to happen this early is just an incredible feeling.

How do you stay motivated to train?

I think about everything I’ve sacrificed. All the time with friends and family, missing out on opportunities socially, working my ass off over the summer to financially support myself through the seasons has to be for something. I think if I don’t keep on working then everything I’ve missed out on has been for nothing. Plus my goals for travelling after uni to play professionally drive me along. Knowing that right now I am young and healthy and driven, and I know that won’t all last so I want to capitalise on it.

Tell us about your future ambitions…

In sport, I want to play abroad. Somewhere in Europe, preferably in Italy or Spain but to be honest, with Brexit messing up everything I will go wherever they will have me. Outside of sport I know that I want to be a property developer, vaguely tying in with my degree. I know I want to retire before I am 35, and I think that the discipline that I am cultivating will stead me well for the future and help me in reaching those goals.


Workout top tip: Work smart not hard, and train ya damn legs

Best song to train to: Survival of the Fittest by Mobb Deep will get anyone going

Sporting idol: Lebron James, not just for his athletic ability but for his ability to lead and change the situation around him.

Favourite way to chill: This is what I struggle with, I find it easier to not stop but if anything I would probably say a stretching session

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