UELSports scholar Anna Fitzpatrick speaks about her summer at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

I’ve been back at uni for 6 weeks now, and although it took a little while to settle back in, things are going well again. I had a great summer with the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, and I was also able to fit in lots of other tournaments. It was nice to have some time to relax before and after matches – during term time last year, I spent all of my free time with my head in my books just trying to catch up with the lectures I had missed. The hard work I put in really paid off – I was rewarded with good grades in all of my modules at UEL and with consistent results on the tennis court.

I have not been able to train as much as I wanted to during the first few weeks of term due to two reasons – 1) starting second year felt like being hit by a brick wall and 2) I was ill for almost a week. I played quite a big tournament last week, knowing deep down that I had not done the hours of training I should have in the lead up. My lack of preparation showed in my performance (maybe more to myself than others watching), as I lost in the first round, albeit to a higher ranked opponent. I was so disappointed, as it was my first tournament after 5 weeks off.

Hopefully I will be able to play a lot more tennis over the next few weeks, and I will be hitting the gym hard to help me get back into the swing of things. My tournament schedule is already sorted until the end of this year, but it’s almost time to start thinking about how I can get the most out of myself in 2014 – something I am really looking forward to.

What I’ve learnt so far this year (apart from the founding ideals of Olympism and how to biomechanically breakdown and analyse sporting performance) is that unfortunately, second year is not as much of a walk in the park as first year was. I already have deadlines coming at me left right and centre, and with three tournaments coming up in as many weeks, it’s definitely not going to be easy. But I’m an athlete – and as everybody knows, athletes love a challenge!

As was the case last year, everybody at UEL has been fantastic over the past few weeks providing the flexibility and support I need as an athlete combining a sporting career with a university degree – ranging from the brilliant scholars induction evening in September, to allowing me to reschedule exams and presentations to accommodate my tournament schedule. It really has been another level.

If anyone is interested, you can follow my progress on twitter @tennisfitzy and I will be writing regular blogs again throughout the year again which will be posted here on the UEL website.

Thanks for reading,

 Anna

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