Off Piste, Scholar Profile – Hannah Smyth

Published: 22 February 2021 at 12:25

Hannah Smyth posing

In our latest sport scholar profile, we’re speaking with Fencer, Hannah Smyth about how she’s been coping with lockdown. As well as being a key member of the ARU Fencing Club, Hannah is a member of Fencers Club London and Huntingdon Fencing Club. Hannah is also qualified as a Level 2 coach.

Hannah is a member of the Great Britain Under 20 team and has represented GB in her discipline of foil in multiple international competitions as well as medalling in several national tournaments.

Name: Hannah Smyth

Sport: Fencing

Course: BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Q. Hello Hannah, with sports facilities currently closed, how have you been managing to keep active?

A. During this lockdown I have been participating in Zoom calls with my fencing club, these have been helpful for my fitness and it’s been great to keep in contact with my coaches, even if it’s only over a screen. These sessions consist of strength and conditioning exercises, footwork practice/pad hitting sessions and an informative talk at the end. I have also been trying to look at my goals for when lockdown is over to try and keep up my motivation but it has been a struggle!

Q. What’s your top piece of advice for staying in good health during lockdown?

A. My top tip is to not let a bad day become a bad week! By this I mean if you struggle to be motivated one day, don’t allow this to turn into an unmotivated week. It is okay to have an unmotivated day as I’m sure we all have in this lockdown but push through the next day as this can be really beneficial to your mental and physical health. Your activities don’t need to be huge either! A walk can make you feel better physically and mentally.

Q. Despite the challenges and lack of competitive opportunities over the past year, are there any achievements you’re particularly proud of?

A. I have been really proud of how far my technique has come on during this lockdown, as although I have not been fencing physically, I have been working hard on techniques like foot work and point control which will in no doubt help me in future competitions.

Q. Finally, what are your sporting aims and ambitions for 2021?

A. I am hoping to compete in the senior circuit in September (if this takes place) and as soon as possible I’d love to travel to senior satellite competitions all over the world as well as going to Poland in the summer to train with lots of other international teams. Another aim of mine is to compete and achieve a medal at BUCS nationals!