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BU Athlete: Chloe Thomas’s Athlete Story

Written by: Chloe Thomas

I began my time as a Bournemouth University Sport scholar in September 2015. I knew a challenge lay ahead of me: to successfully balance my time between studying for a BSc degree in Nutrition whilst training and competing at international level in table tennis.

I quickly realised in my first year that in order to keep up with the volume of studying, assignment deadlines and research I needed to apply the same discipline, and dedication I was used to applying in my table tennis training. Good diary management was an essential skill and procrastination was definitely not an option.

With careful planning and unfailing support from my tutors and SportBU, I managed, during each table tennis season and academic year, to juggle assignments, research etc., with many matches and training sessions, as Swedish league matches are scheduled every few weeks from September to May, BUCs league from October to March and taking place on most Wednesdays, training privately 4/5 times a week on the table and every Friday with the university team whilst maintaining my scholar commitments by keeping up with my personalised Strengthening and Conditioning programme. Being a sport scholar is a challenge but I coped with the work load by being disciplined.  As soon as assignments were set, I would have to get to work, there no time for procrastinating, as I would also be preparing for tournaments. The staff at BU were very supportive and extensions on deadlines were made available if needed, but fortunately, as I believed in being organised and prepared well in advance I managed to complete my work on time. During my second year I also took on extra work with learning Mandarin Chinese in order to prepare for my forthcoming training in China for 6 months.

The Commonwealth Games 2018, which was my ultimate sporting goal, fell in what should have been my final year in university. I realised from the previous two years of juggling the demands of study and sport,that I would be unable to train full time (which I needed to do to get a chance of being selected). I decided, after discussion with my tutors, to defer my final year in university in order to give myself the best chance of succeeding in both university and selection to compete for Wales in the Commonwealth Games -Gold Coast 2018.  I took a gamble in taking a year out of University as I didn’t yet know if I would be selected. In September 2017 I moved to China for 6 months and in January 2018 I finally received the news that I had indeed been selected for Team Wales.

I returned to complete my final year in University in September 2018. I realised I now had to give priority to my academic studies in order to graduate, but I still continued to play for the university team in BUCS league and after being runner up twice in previous years, 2018-19 was our time to win both the BUCS league and the BUCS Trophy cup. After all the hard work, I achieved my sporting goal by representing Wales in the Commonwealth Games 2018 and have now successfully completed my Nutrition BSc degree with a 2:1.

These were the experiences and achievements I met during my 4 years as a BU Scholar: 




Commonwealth Championships India

Luxembourg Open

Finland Open

Bronze medal team



BUCS Individuals Championships Gold medal Singles
World Team Championships Malaysia Gold medal Women’s doubles  Silver medal Individuals
Swedish Premier League Quarter Finals
BUCS league Bronze Medal – Runner-up team



World Individual Championships Germany

Luxembourg Open

European League Qualification




Swedish Premier league Bronze medal
Welsh National Championships Gold medal Women’s doubles  Silver medal Individuals
BUCS Individuals Championships Quarter Finals
BUCS league Runner-up team



World University Games Taipei

Team GBR Team , individuals , doubles

Training in China for 6 months

European Team Championships Luxembourg

German Open

Last 32 Individuals





Commonwealth Games Australia 5th Team event
World Championships Team Sweden Semi-finals
Welsh National Championships Gold medal Women’s doubles and Silver medal singles



BUCS league Team

BUCS Trophy Cup Team

Gold Medal

Gold Medal

Training in China 1 month
World University Games Italy Quarter Finals Team , Last 32 Individuals and Last 64 mixed doubles

Being a sport scholar brings some challenges, but even more rewards. There is no substitute for hard work and commitment to ensure success in sport or academic studies, but it is undeniably worthwhile and achievable with the support network provided by BU and SportBU.

Chloe Thomas