BU Athlete: Noorin Gulam’s Athlete Story
Written by: Jason Blackburn
Noorin Gulam is one of BU’s very finest athletes and a name to look out for on the Olympic Weightlifting scene. Over the last 5 years at Bournemouth University Noorin has tackled more than an average student would ever have to. She displays all the role-model characteristics for aspiring young female athletes; she is an icon in BU weightlifting and is an inspiration for any budding athletes following in her footsteps. Noorin will soon take the journey to the Senior World Weightlifting Championships 2019 in Pattaya, Thailand. Both her biggest achievement and challenge to date. See the TeamGB teamsheets and championship information via the link above.
Born in West London, Noorin has studied at Bournemouth University since 2014, a longer spell than most students face, due to the fact that she initially studied psychology, before leaving the course to join the British Weightlifting (BWL) Golden Chance program, returning to Bournemouth the following September to study Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences. Given Noorin’s achievements, you would be forgiven for assuming that she had been born into Weightlifting, but this could not be further from the truth; Noorin first started lifting in GCSE PE as she didn’t have a sport and immediately fell in love with it, going to her first competition just six weeks later. Noorin has since been successful in many competitions, most recently winning a silver medal in the British Weightlifting Championships, and has represented Team GB several times, with her long-term goal of representing Great Britain at Tokyo 2020 still well within her grasp.
Like every performance athlete at university, Noorin has had to adjust to the unique challenge of balancing her studies with her sporting career. At first, this proved difficult, with Noorin withdrawing from University in 2014 due to the Psychology course that she was initially studying not being the right fit for her. However, following her return to Bournemouth in 2015 with a clean slate and a fresh outlook, she has gone from strength-to-strength on her new course, achieving several firsts and completing a 30 week placement at the LeAF Studio in Bournemouth, all while achieving exceptional levels in sport. Just a few of her accomplishments in the past 4 years include setting a new clean and jerk record in her category in 2015, winning TeamBU Sports Woman of the Year in 2015 and 2016, representing Team GB at the 2016 European Weightlifting Championships and becoming BUCS Champion in 2017. As if this wasn’t enough, she even coached Simon Prentice on the day to achieve Gold at the 2018 Bristol Open, proving that her talents lie far beyond just performing. Noorin’s consistent success, both academically and in competition is a testament to her determination, she is living proof that it is possible to develop, grow and perform as an athlete at a high level whilst committing to a university degree.
Noorin’s journey is made all the more impressive when you learn about her injury history. After straining her Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in incredibly innocuous circumstances during a warmup, she returned from her injury too quickly, and trained too hard, which led to her suffering from Chronic Knee Tendinopathy, as well as bone bruising that took a year to heal! With the support of Bournemouth University and TASS, Noorin has managed to adapt her training around this affliction, she squats less frequently and incorporates eccentric and isometric training into her routines to strengthen and condition her tendons. This careful management of her body post-injury, as well as unwavering support from Bournemouth University has allowed Noorin to return to competition stronger than ever before, as she achieved gold in the 49kg women’s event at the 2019 BWL championships.
Noorin has had many obstacles to overcome in the last 5 years, from the initial feeling of displacement in a course that was not right to her, to an unfortunate chronic injury, yet she has overcome them all through dogged determination and a deep-rooted passion for her sport, as well as the help of the support networks provided by SportBU. The sky is truly the limit for Noorin, who will continue to represent TeamGB once again in the upcoming World Championships. We are proud to have supported her along her journey.