Welcome to the latest edition of our Scholars Q&A! In this weekly feature, we speak to a selection of our Team Surrey scholars to hear about their experiences and achievements within university sport and beyond.
Lydia Stanier from University of Surrey Fencing has just completed her final exams and is about to leave the university following her stint as president of the club this year. In this Q&A, she reflects on her beginnings in the sport, her time as a scholar in Surrey and her aim to rise up the GB rankings.
How have things been going with you recently?
“I’ve just finished my final year exams so into the big wide world of work I come. I haven’t really fenced properly for nearly 18 months now because of lockdown restrictions, but I’m hoping to get fully back into it this summer.”
When and where did your Fencing career begin?
“I started fencing on my 7th birthday at my brother’s after-school club in Oxford. I fell in love with the sport and joined another club where my coach said I had potential to go far in the sport. He trained me up for my first regional, national and international competitions and it’s been great ever since!”
What are your aims in sport moving forward?
“I’ve never been very good at setting goals in fencing, but my next step is to climb back up the GB rankings after my placement year abroad and this past year, and hopefully qualify for the Senior European/World Championships. In my first year of university, I reached the top 10 in the rankings, so hopefully I can aim towards that again and keep challenging myself.”
How has the university supported you and your sporting endeavours?
“Fencing is an expensive sport to compete in, from the equipment to travelling to competitions. HPASS has been amazing on every side, especially S&C sessions in building my fitness up, and also financially in being able to travel to competitions abroad and nationally.”
What would you say to prospective students considering Surrey?
“Take advantage of all the opportunities – try lots of different sports, go and enjoy all the events, don’t shy away from anything.”
What has been the highlight of your time at Surrey?
“I’d say seeing the fencing club grow! But also Colours Ball 2019 when I won sportswoman of the year! I was shocked and honoured to be nominated and so happy to have gone to the whole event to support all the sports clubs and have a great night.”
Sporting role model? “Rafa Nadal and Ysaora Thibus.”
Favourite meal? “I love all food…this question is too hard! KFC, spaghetti carbonara, chicken korma, a good brownie…obviously not together.”
Favourite lockdown workout? “Skipping.”
Favourite song for exercising/training? “The 1975 – TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.”
Best thing about Surrey? “Bench Bar BBQ chicken nachos.”