July 17, 2018, by brzmjb1

European Universities Games Coimbra 2018 Competitor Blog – Lucy Gillbanks

The European Universities Games  2018 – EUSA Games (EUG) is well underway in Coimbra, Portugal.

University of Nottingham is represented at the games by  21 athletes and 4 coaches across Table Tennis, Badminton and Rowing.

Over the course of the games UoN athletes will be posting their experiences of the games in a number of blogs.

Our second blog is courtesy of 2nd year Physiotherapy student and UoN sport scholar, Lucy Gillbanks.

Gillbanks earned two silver medals (LW2x and LW4x) last year in the 2017 Championships.

Speaking about her experience so far she said,

“For those of you that don’t know me, I am a rower at UoN sport and I am competing at the European University Games as a lightweight in the double sculls with my partner Nina Giambrone. We are two out of the four athletes competing from the rowing squad this year. Rob Muscroft and George Crouchley make up the men’s lightweight pair also representing UoN and Great Britain in the Men’s boat. We don’t come alone though, we have our very trusty coaches and number one fans with us; John McKirdy and Tim Brearley – who we would not be here without them.

I started packing for the games weeks in advanced as I was so excited to get out here to race. It was so exciting flying with the rest of the UoN athletes and coaches, and we met lots of other Universities at the airport and all flew out together. It is the most incredible feeling being part of such an event.

When we arrived at the athlete village there were mixed emotions, everyone was tired from traveling which was quite exhausting, but there was a sense of excitement in the air as everyone was anticipating the competition to come. There is a great sense of team spirit within the whole of the GB team as we are all able to eat together and travel around the games together and there is a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere as everyone wants to help each other out so we are all able to put out our best performance.

Last year Nina and I competed at the EUSA Championships and won 2 silver medals, however the games is a different experience completely, from the moment we were picked up from the airport we understood that this would be a bigger and better competition than last year. There are far more athletes and countries here which makes it more exciting.

The second day after arriving was our training day, this was the first time we were able to see the course which we would be competing at. It is an incredible place and very well set up with a large grand stand for spectators, meaning our number one support team (our families) have prime position for cheering.

After weighing (a crew combination of 57kg) in this morning we competed in the blazing sun for our heat where we placed 2nd meaning we are straight through to the A final on Wednesday so we get a day off racing tomorrow and we don’t have to go through a semi-final which is a big relief.

Our aspirations from this event are to race our hearts out and leave nothing on the course, but ultimately, we want to be leaving with medals round our necks.

The UoN boys start their EUSA campaign tomorrow and we are so excited to cheer them on.We are also very excited with our day off tomorrow as we will have a chance to watch some other events and cheer on other UoN members!”

Lucy (pictured centre-left) with Nina Giambrone (centre-right) earning one of two silver medals (LW2x and LW4x) at EUG 2017.

Follow all the progress of University of Nottingham students at EUG and stay up to date with all the results from the games here.

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