BU Athlete: Edward Weeden Athlete Story
Written by: Edward Weeden
Edited by: Jason Blackburn
Starting university at Bournemouth in September 2015 my trampoline career was inevitably going to become more competitive and serious under the supervision of OLGA (one of UKs top trampoline clubs) and the support of the University’s scholarship programme. It was difficult to balance working, studying and training, however as each academic year passed, my confidence grew as I learned more and gained experience.
My first BUCS tournament for the university was a unique experience; I was the only athlete representing BU in my sport, finishing 3rd overall. I returned from the tournament energised, determined to come back stronger and show everyone what I and the university are capable of. In the same year I qualified for the Level 8 championships (one category below the British championships) in which the hard work paid off and I received a gold medal during the finals.
This was a challenging year for me and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the scholarship programme and the staff of Bournemouth university for all their support throughout the year. Going back to BUCS with a solid team this year with determination to prove myself I felt excited to compete. Sadly, despite the good start I crashed coming off the trampoline during my final routine. This was hard to take, but I was surrounded by the team and staff of BU for constant support where needed. One of the most challenging things about competing in a sport at a high level, whilst also being a student is balancing that social life and trying to maintain one’s composure. The staff of BU were always available, even I just needed to vent on the phone, they would calm me down and reassure me. On the main circuit I once again challenged myself to try to qualify for the senior championships, however I narrowly missed out on the requisite qualification scores. Although my second year had not gone fully to plan it was not something I would be stopped by.
I set myself new challenges and pushed myself physically and mentally, achieving my goals. I was finally able to assert myself on the BUCS stage, coming first, as well as qualifying for the 17-21 British championships, coming 7th in the finals. The strength and conditioning programme at BU is second to none, the coaches are very well-informed, understanding the demand of each sport and helping every single athlete train effectively in order to develop their weaknesses until they are strengths.
This year came and went, and with it came my last year of university and, sadly, my last BUCS tournament. I went out with a bang, proucing one of my best BUCS routines and placing myself into the Final in 8th position. I was only so low in the standings due to an unfortunate voluntary routine, a situation that had left me feeling down, but determined to perform well in the Zero-final (meaning all scores get placed back to 0). My final BUCS routine of my 4 years at university was one of my greatest performances, I was ecstatic with it! Not only did I win BUCS, later I also qualified for the senior championships in both DMT and Trampolining, the top categories in the country. As September 2019 approaches, I must rely on the training, support and experience that I have accrued over the past four years and translate them into a good performance.