July 11, 2019, by brzmjb1
BUCS Sportswoman of the year is University of Nottingham’s Hayley Mills
Track-star Hayley Mills has been recognised as the 2019 Sportswomen of the year at the coveted BUCS Awards in Bristol.
Hayley Mills joined the University of Nottingham in 2016 to study a PhD in Mathematics. Although she had a strong pedigree in athletics, as a previous European Junior Champion over 200m in 2007 and a senior World Championship Bronze medallist in the 4x100m relay in 2013, she had taken a step back from her competitive athletics and didn’t register any track races in 2016.
However, the BUCS competitions intrigued her and the combination of the allure of BUCS combined with encouragement from the student athletics club reignited her interest in the sport and also inspired her to branch into a new event in the form of the pole vault alongside her more traditional sprint disciplines.
In 2017, she bounced back onto the scene, taking BUCS Indoor Bronze in the 60m, Silver in the 200m, as well as securing 4th place in her newest event the pole vault. This was backed up in the summer by taking silver in the 100m at Outdoor Championships, with Hayley again finishing just outside the medals for 4th place in the pole vault.
However, this was only the start; the past academic year has seen Hayley represent England in the Vienna Classic before capturing the British Athletics Indoor Championship title in Birmingham over 200m, her first senior national gold. She then proved this was no fluke by claiming double gold in the 60m and 200m at the BUCS Indoor Athletics Championships, the latter in a new BUCS Championship Record and indoor PB of 23.49, ranking her 5th in Europe. Unfortunately she was injured for the BUCS Outdoor Championships and therefore unable to compete.
Aside from her own performances, her support for the university go far beyond the boundaries of the track, she has inspired a new group of University sprinters which now numbers 35 student athletes. Traditionally the University Athletics Club has been dominated by middle distance runners, but Hayley’s enthusiasm and coaching has helped develop a new strand of the club.
With the UK Athletics Outdoor season just starting and World Championship team positions up for grabs, the prospects of Hayley returning to the top of the world stage this year look very high indeed.