Commonwealth names: meet the students competing in Glasgow

11 days, 11 athletes: ahead of tomorrow’s opening ceremony, Katie Strick meets some of the student hopefuls set to compete at Glasgow 2014…

Luke Treharne

Age: 21

Sport: Rugby 7s

Uni: Exeter

Degree: Medicine

Luke Treharne

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I’m really excited about the opportunity to play in the Commonwealth Games. It will be my first full international cap for Wales which will be made even more special by being part of Glasgow 2014.

What are you most excited about?

I’m really excited about playing in front of a big crowd in Ibrox Stadium

How do you balance your training and your studies?

Balancing my studies and sport is made really easy due to the people I have around me. Everyone is very understanding from both the academic and the sport side. I wouldn’t be in this position without them.

When can we catch you competing on TV?

26th and 27th of July

Lily Owsley

Age: 19

Sport: Hockey

Uni: Birmingham

Degree: Sports Science

Lily Owsley 2

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

Very excited and a little nervous. It’s an incredible opportunity and I want to make the most of the experience.

What are you most excited about?

The pressure and ambition of winning a gold medal

How do you balance your training and your studies?

Not very well… no, I will try and do my best in both areas and set aside time from training for my studies.

When can we catch you competing on TV?

The commonwealth games is covered by the BBC and our group games are on the 24/27/28/30 July

Emily Dudgeon

Age: 21

Sport: Athletics-800m

Uni: Cambridge (but transferring to start in Dundee in August)

Degree: Medicine (zoology in third year)

Emily Dudgeon

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

Really excited – it is a home games for me and I remember the day it was announced that Glasgow won the bid! Since then it has been my dream to compete there.

What are you most excited about?

I am probably most excited about the opportunity to compete in a Scottish vest alongside some of the world’s best athletes.

How do you balance your training and your studies?

I sit down at the beginning of each week and write in when I can train alongside my lectures and practicals. Then I just do as much work as I can on top of that and don’t stress about having less time than other people!

When can we catch you competing on TV?

My heats are on the 30th July with semis and final hopefully on the 31st and 01st August!

Alex Matchett

Age: 20

Sport: Triathlon

Uni: Loughborough & Bristol

Degree: I’ve just finished a year of intercalating in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough Uni. In September I will return to Bristol Uni to complete the final 3 years of Medicine.

Alex Matchett

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

It’s an honour to be chosen to be a part of Team Wales. To be given the opportunity to represent Wales at a major games is a big privilege!

What are you most excited about?

Triathlon is quite an individual sport so being a member of a team which includes athletes from a range of sports is something which I’m really looking forward to and I’m most excited about.

How do you balance your training and your studies?

Lots of coffee and a lack of sleep helps me to combine studying with training but also very supportive subject departments in both Bristol and Loughborough.

When can we catch you competing on TV?

The Triathlon events will be televised on Thursday 24th July and Saturday 26th July.

Olivia Curran

Age: 23

Sport: Athletics – pole vault

Uni: Loughborough

Degree: Sport and exercise science (graduated last week)

Olivia Curran

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I am so honoured to compete in Glasgow. This will be my second consecutive Commonwealth Games in a second sport. In Delhi I injured my knee just days before the competition (I was a gymnast back then). 2 surgeries, a broken ankle and a stress response later, I’ve made it to the next Commonwealth Games in a completely new, completely different sport. So for making it this far I’m extremely proud.

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about the atmosphere at the games… In the competition and the hype around the village. Hopefully the weather will be decent and I will have a chance to jump a personal best. That would be amazing! 

How do you balance your training and your studies?

Because of training so many hours as a gymnast (dancer, pianist, swimmer as well) I’ve always been good at managing my time. I’m good at getting up early whether that be to train, practice my musical instruments or do school/Uni work. I also coach gymnasts quite a lot at the moment so managing my time is very important!

When can we catch you competing on TV?

I will be competing on the 2nd August so hopefully I’ll make the TV

Jamie MacDonald

Age: 23

Sport: Judo (-66kg)

Uni: Cardiff

Degree: BSc Business Information Systems

Jamie MacDonald

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I’m really excited to compete in Glasgow. It’s the culmination of two years of hard work and I almost saw the chance slip away due to injury, so it’s a relief to be back on the mat in time to represent Wales at this level.

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about the chance to step out on the mat and fight for my place in the final session. Other than that I’m looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere of the Games Village, and as I compete on the first day I should have plenty of time for that!

How do you balance your training and your studies?

I’ve realised that it comes down to prioritisation, when you have full time uni commitments as well as full time training there are bound to be clashes, so I’ve just had to choose what is the most important at the time and try and catch up on any missed sessions afterwards (which results in a lot of early morning gym sessions and late night coursework hours)

When can we catch you competing on TV?

My weight category (-66kg) is on the first day of competition, July 24th.

Eloise Laity

Age: 20

Sport: Hockey

Uni: Bath

Degree: Chemistry

Eloise Laity

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I feel very privileged to be here!! Especially with such a great group of girls!

What are you most excited about?

We’re excited to start the competition as we trained on the pitch last night and it’s amazing! We’re just eager to start playing, especially if we get some support from the crowd. Haven’t played in an arena like it! And of course the food hall – it is as big as people said!

How do you balance your training and your studies?

It’s hard to balance sometimes especially with deadlines for work but I suppose you have to be organised. If you want to do something you can usually find a way to make it work!

When can we catch you competing on TV?

We have our first match on Thursday 24th at 11 against England. Australia at 2pm on Friday 25th. Monday 28th against Scotland in the afternoon and Wednesday 30th against Malaysia at 11am. (Although not 100% sure if they’ll be televised!)

Jake Wightman

Age: 20

Sport: Athletics – 1500m

Uni: Loughborough

Degree: Business

Jake Wightman

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

It will be an honour to represent my country. Being Scottish, a home games is something which may only happen once and therefore needs to be made the most of!

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about hearing the Hampden roar for Scottish athletes. Will be very special.

How do you balance your training and your studies?

I balance training and studying by often running early or late, to allow plenty of time for lectures. It can be pretty bleak on miserable winter mornings though.

When can we catch you competing on TV?

I’ll be competing in my heat on Friday 1st August and hopefully the final on Saturday 2nd if all goes well!

Izzy Jeffs

Age: 22

Sport: Javelin

Uni: Loughborough

Degree: Sport and Exercise Science

Izzy Jeffs

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

Nervous to compete, but excited for the whole village and multi-sport experience

What are you most excited about?

Walking out in front of the crowd with such a great opportunity to perform at my best

How do you balance your training and your studies?

I struggle to balance my studies and training, I normally just have to get my head down and crack on with work living horribly stressed for a while especially during exams!

When can we catch you competing on TV?

Wednesday 30th July evening session

James Jurkiewicz

Age: 22

Sport: Swimming – backstroke

Uni: Oxford

Degree: Engineering

James

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I feel really privileged to be a part of it, and being from Guernsey gives a great opportunity for athletes to compete on a world stage.

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about the prospect of making a final in the 100 medley final.

How do you balance your training and your studies?

Balancing training and work this term has been pretty tough, as I have had my finals. I’ve just been getting up early ans training every morning, and then working all day and training again after dinner. It actually helped me to structure my time.

When can we catch you competing on TV?

Thursday morning is the 100 back heats, with semi finals in the afternoon. Then I’m racing on the mornings of the 26th and 28th.

Pippa Woolven

Age: 20

Sport: Athletics (3000m steeplechase)

Uni: Birmingham (UK) & Florida State University (USA)

Degree: Sport & Exercise Science

Pippa Woolven

How do you feel about your opportunity to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games?

I was absolutely thrilled when I heard I had been selected and I’m so grateful to have been given an opportunity to take part in the Games as it’s always been a distant dream! I find it really motivating to be part of a big team with a shared goal and I want to do the best I can for Team England.

What are you most excited about?

The whole thing! I can’t wait to arrive at the athlete’s village and start mixing with athletes from all sorts of sports. I’m hoping to watch some other events besides athletics too so I’m sure that will be really fun. The dining hall sounds pretty exciting as well!

How do you balance your training and your studies?

I have to try to be very organised when it comes to arranging my training but it’s not normally too tricky as my classes tend to be over with by around midday. I’m really lucky in that my course doesn’t require too many contact hours so I can schedule runs and sessions around my independent studying. My professors are normally really understanding when it comes to missing classes due to travelling and competing so that’s really helpful too. The hardest part is trying to focus on Uni work whilst I’m away and excited/nervous!

When can we catch you competing on TV?

Wednesday 30th at 7.55pm

 

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Follow BBC Sport‘s coverage of the Games over the next 11 days 

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