Middlesex’s elite athletes are looking forward to the BUCS Championships in Sheffield from 10-14 March.
Some of the University’s top performers will be testing themselves in the competition, which provides a focal point to break up the long winter training period for the track athletes and a welcome chance to face their peers for those in other disciplines.
The University is taking a total of 35 athletes to Yorkshire for the event. Among these will be Judo players Theo Spalding-McIntosh and Colleen Kerr, two of the University’s Future Gold scholars. Theo, who at 20 has recently stepped up to full senior level in the under 100kg category, came 7th in the GB World Cup in Birmingham in September last year and competed in the Tokyo Grand Slam, which he described as one of the toughest events in the Judo calendar, in December.
Colleen, who competes in the under 63kg category, is coming back from injury after breaking her ankle last year. She said she is looking forward to getting back into competition. “I am basically looking to get back to the level I was before, I’m currently 4th in the seniors (in Britain),” she said.
Chancellor’s Scholar Ese Okoro, normally a 400m hurdler outdoors, will be representing the University in the 200m and the 4x200m relay at the BUCS Championship (an indoor event). This season she will be looking to improve on her PB which she got in the Junior European Championships last season.
Other Middlesex athletes are focused on different initial goals. Sprinter Ashlee Nelson, who is on a Future Gold Scholarship, will be competing in both the 60m and 200m and the 4x200m relay. She said: “There’s the Europeans, World Juniors and Commonwealth Games this year, I just want to stay injury free. I had 20 weeks out with injury last year.”
Several other athletes are coming back from injury, including sprint hurdlers Alex Al-Ameen and Serita Solomon.
All 35 athletes will have the University behind them. Head of Sport Mel Parker said: “We are rightly proud of our athletes here and are committed to helping them achieve their potential. We wish them luck in the BUCS championships and we’re hoping they’ll have a very successful year.”