Lucy Buchanan, Balliol, 2nd year Engineering.
I started gymnastics when I was three and ended up training and competing with the same club for 15 years, I really enjoyed it and only left the same summer I moved away for uni. Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue gymnastics at Oxford. I had been with my coach and teammates back home for such a long time and they were part of the reason I enjoyed the sport so much, but after a summer without training I found myself handstanding and flipping around even more than usual.
I decided to go to the OUGym taster sessions and I’m so glad I did, everyone was so lovely and welcoming. I quickly decided gymnastics was definitely something I wanted to continue at uni. One of my first socials was our annual ‘Challenge Night’, it was a great chance to get to know everyone outside the gym and I left feeling a lot more like part of a team. This set the bar for many future crew dates, team bonding evenings and nights outs – nothing beats a Parkend Wednesday!
A normal training session for me would start with a warmup (and a catch up), followed by some apparatus training. In the lead up to BUCS and Varsity this would mainly be skills and routines but when we are not in competition season, I love making the most of the pit at Abingdon to try new skills. When I’m taking a break, I enjoy wondering around the gym to see people working on cool new skills. My favourite thing about OUGym is the team spirit, everyone is so supportive of one another. We all train together, beginners and advanced, which I think benefits everybody. We can all help each other improve and it is great to see how much everyone progresses each term.
If anyone is considering taking up artistic gymnastics, or any other discipline, I would say go for it. Gymnastics is a great way to stay fit and have some fun. It is the ultimate challenge of strength, flexibility, and coordination. The feeling of getting a new skill is like nothing else, and what could be more motivating than training alongside your team?