I was aware of BUAC (University of Birmingham Athletics Club) long before I started at the University of Birmingham due to their success nationally at BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport), and the world class athletes who continue to train alongside the squad. As a result, the University of Birmingham’s sporting ethos was a real driver, alongside its academic prestige, in terms of where I chose to go to University at the time. I knew I wanted to remain in Birmingham after graduating, and deliberately based myself close by in Harborne and now Edgbaston so I could continue to train with the group day in day out.
The club is very welcoming and supportive even as a non-student. I still receive the same coaching and similar support as I did when I was a student. There are many athletes who continue to train with the group, including several of my friends who graduated at the same time as me. It a really inclusive group who remain in touch with one another long after graduating. When attending any regional or national competition, you are bound to bump into someone who is or was a member of the club.
The club has supported me massively on the lead up to the Island Games. My coach Dean Miller has provided me with a great programme and race plan and continues to support me each day with my training. The club run several track sessions a week, which are key to my training. The team atmosphere, and level at which they train is second to none.
The Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games XIII will be held from 6th to 12th July 2019. There is currently 24 islands which compete. The games are held every other year, and the host island gets to choose from 18 different sports. To get to compete in the games you must either be born to a member island or have lived on one at least 12 months prior to the Games. I am participating in the 1500m and 5000m. As a Manx athlete (Athlete from the Isle of Man) this is one of the highest levels of competition (only surpassed by the Commonwealth Games) and as a result, a massive personal achievement.
‘’The University of Birmingham Athletics and Cross Country Club has provided, and continues to provide me with the perfect environment to develop my running. Throughout my time as a student, I trained everyday with the male endurance squad, and received world class advice from the coaches, including Luke Gunn, Bud Baldaro and Dean Miller. The club has a real team atmosphere and ethos, and it was a real privilege to wear the red vest during my time as a student, especially at major BUCS competitions.
“The club is going from strength to strength and the depth of the squad provides a great training group for all involved, and really pushes you to be the best you can be. Their support on the lead up towards the Island Games has been invaluable, especially from my coach Dean Miller’’.