Laura Weightman - BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science, 2013
Laura Weightman is a middle-distance runner and has competed in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Laura left her life in Alnwick to study at Leeds Beckett University which she says is one of the best decisions she has made.
Laura explains: “My coach, Steve Cram, told me to go somewhere that I could build a team around me. It wasn’t about just coming to Leeds for university it was about making somewhere home that would allow me to become an athlete. Coming to Leeds has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and is a huge part of my success to date.”
“I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without Leeds. Moving here over 10 years ago was one of the best decisions I have made. The people I work with in Leeds have given me the platform to the best athlete I can be.”
“Going to university gave me the time to develop as an athlete, improve my performances and build a team around me that would support me in my career post university. It was never a guarantee that I would become a successful athlete, but I wanted to give myself the platform to have the opportunity to challenge myself. I made the most of the opportunities while studying and over anything worked hard in both areas.”
In 2013 Laura graduated with a degree in Sports & Exercise Science at Leeds Beckett University but had already competed in the 1,500m final at the London 2012 Olympic games.
She said: “London 2012 will always be a moment in my career that I’m immensely proud of. There is no greater feeling than representing your country but to do that at a home Olympic games is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I hope to have many more years of competing ahead. The next big target is the Tokyo Olympic games! I’d like to keep challenging myself and setting new goals to see how fast I can be! After my career as an athlete I would love to work in sport helping develop the next generation of athletes passing on my experiences.”
“I have always had a passion for sport, not just physically running but also the science behind it. I wanted to do a degree that covered a wide range of areas, enhancing my knowledge that would aid my running but also provide me with a base knowledge for future work within sport.”
“I am living my childhood dream, I put my trainers on each day and run for a living. I feel incredibly lucky to travel the world training and racing as my job representing my country.”
“To me, success has always been about being as good as I can be, both in my academic and athletic pathways. Not comparing myself to others and knowing that my journey to my success/goals will be different to others around me. This is something that I have always focused on which has allowed me to concentrate on my journey.”
To recent sports graduates, Laura says “Enjoy your sport and don’t put pressure on yourself. It won’t be an easy journey, there will be lots of twists and turns on your road to success but you can achieve your goals. Doing things outside of sport is a good distraction and a way to switch off away from training or competition without having to be working or a university degree such as online courses, part time work/volunteering and other hobbies.”
Enjoy your sport and don’t put pressure on yourself. It won’t be an easy journey, there will be lots of twists and turns on your road to success but you can achieve your goals. Doing things outside of sport is a good distraction and a way to switch off away from training or competition without having to be working or a university degree such as online courses, part time work/volunteering and other hobbies.