“Being an elite sportsperson, you have to think about the future because I could break my leg any day of the year and that’s my sporting career over. So I need something to fall back on but at the same time while I’m still swimming fine, I need to give as much time and attention to swimming as I can. The University allowed me to take a break from my studies so I can chip away at my academic studies whilst putting all my effort into my swimming and my career. I’ve had amazing access to equipment like the Bod Pod which has allowed me to gain an understanding of my body type and the way my muscle mass depletes when body fat gets below a certain point. Just little things like that that not many people have access to.
Ahead of the Olympics the university was able to lend Ben some 'magic pants' which aid Ben's ability to be race ready after flying. Ben said: “I don’t think any other university would allow one of their students to take away a piece of kit like the Normatec pants away. I feel quite fortunate just to get access to them and to be given the trust to take them away with me.”
"I am able to use the gym facility whenever I would like which has benefited in some rehab I have had to do. Everyone has been extremely supportive and it is great to be able to chat regardless of how busy they are and how I am feeling. Advice is always appreciated and being made to feel supported is great. The scholarship is also extremely helpful and it is one less thing that brings stress to training and competing."
"All the staff are very accommodating and supportive, allowing me to continue my training, as well as, studying full time to become a physical education teacher. My lecturing staff are very understanding with that, at times, training and competing can become very intense and time consuming, therefore provide additional support when appropriate. The sports facilities here are like nothing else I have experienced. The state-of-the-art facilities allow me to not only continue to train, but have had a positive impact on both my performance and understanding of my body and the best way to train. "
"The gym is well equipped and has everything for my sport and my training. There is also the chance to train in the sports science lab which has fantastic facilities for me to utilise. The staff have supported me, allowing me the time off to compete and to travel to competitions. Also, I’ve gained additional and sport specific knowledge on my course to help me understand how to improve my own training and health. Stan and Kathryn (at the University Sports Centre) have helped me so much, they’re always there when I’ve needed them for a chat or anything at all!"