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Sussex students win bronze medals at UK’s largest multi-sport event

Two Sussex undergraduates have battled it out against the top student athletes in the country to bring back bronze medals from the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals on Sunday (19 February). The event is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event and showcases over 6,000 of the country’s promising young athletes during an action-packed three days of student sport.

Sport Scholars Alice Torjussen and Theresa Huang Wun Yan received their medals for the badminton women’s doubles event, making it two years in a row that they have brought back bronze from the competition. 

Alice, a second-year Computing Science with Artificial Intelligence student in the school of Engineering, regularly trains at the University’s Sport Centre alongside International Business student Theresa. The pair are both recipients of sports scholarships, delivered by Sussexsport and generously funded by the Sussex Fund through donation from alumni and friends of the University.

The Sports Scholarship Scheme paid for Alice and Theresa’s entry into the tournament and also supports the student athletes with additional funding, mentoring and training - proving instrumental to their success. Alice said: “We definitely wouldn't have been able to get this far without the help of the scheme.

“The sports scholarship has enabled us to train on court and in the gym as often as we want, and provided us with a personalised strength and conditioning program that has helped our progress too.”

The scholars were seeded in the doubles tournament and fought against some of the top seeded pairs to reach the semi-finals, defeating the University of Bath despite their contestants being seeded and ranked higher than them. The duo lost in the semi-final to number one seeds Loughborough University, who went on to win the tournament against finalists from the University of Nottingham.

Alice and Theresa’s semi-finals achievement is all the more special considering that during three days of badminton at the event more than 720 players took part in 691 matches, going through an incredible 2,460 shuttlecocks in the process!

Acknowledging such tough competition against two of the UK’s top sporting universities, Alice – who is also Sussex’s women’s team captain - praised their performance throughout the tournament, noting that they managed to retain their fitness and strength throughout a grueling semi-final match against Loughborough, who simply proved to be too much of “an unbreakable wall” to defeat.

Alice and her team-mates in the University’s women’s badminton team are now setting their sights on the rest of the BUCS season, with the hope of gaining promotion to the premier south division in the coming year.

And badminton at Sussex is enjoying a boom across all levels of participation, from elite performance to drop-in sessions. This week, National Governing Body Badminton England has announced that Sussex is in the top 10 among UK universities for badminton participation rates – largely owing to Sussexsport's twice-weekly Active US badminton sessions.

Active US drop-in sessions are open to all students for £1 a play and no experience is necessary. Luke Terrill, Deputy Head of Sport (Competition and Participation Sport), commended the rise of the sport at Sussex, adding: "Badminton is really on the up at Sussex. We are now performing amongst the best universities in BUCS competitions and have seen a real spike in interest amongst recreational student players on campus." To find out more about Active US badminton sessions, visit our Facebook. To play competitively, visit the Badminton club's page.

Posted on behalf of: Sussexsport
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2017