Hitting Alpine heights with Manchester’s sports scholarships

Georgia Hallett has had a love for skiing from a very young age and her passion soon became a competitive outlet through which she would excel at for years to come. She is currently in her fifth-year of studying BDS Dentistry, and with the help of a University of Manchester scholarship, she continues to impress both on the slopes and off them…

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I have been skiing since the age of 6; it was something that started out as a family holiday and quickly turned into competing every weekend and spending weeks away in various destinations in Europe, much to the horror of my parent’s finances!

I started to compete in skiing at the age of 8 and with the construction of indoor snow domes in the UK, I was introduced into a new world of competition, as well as being a gateway to competing in the alps.

I attended the British Ski Academy in Chamonix, France during my secondary school years and competed at various ski resorts across the European circuit of the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Before I came to University, I had looked into the sport scholarship service and had decided not to apply for one as I didn’t want to have extra pressure to train and compete whilst also settling into university. Nevertheless, I joined the University ski and snowboard society in freshers week and started to train with them at a more relaxed pace than I was previously used to.

1After my first competition in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) it was mentioned by several members of the team that I should apply for a scholarship as I was competing at the desired level and so it was all fairly straight forward from there – an online application and letters from my national team coach and my club coach secured a performance sport scholarship which I have retained for five years now!

Since coming to university my ski racing career has changed as I found it difficult to spend weeks away whilst also studying for such a challenging degree therefore I now compete solely within the UK on the domestic dry slope and indoor snow dome circuits in addition to University BUCS competitions.

Having a scholarship has enabled me to do a lot more off-ski training than I had previously done and gave me access to the University ‘Power Room’, which is a strength and conditioning centre in Sugden Sports Centre in which I train three times a week lifting weights to increase my strength and power.

Having a structured training programme set by Nathan, my strength and conditioning coach, in conjunction with my club coach has enabled me to build up more fitness to train for longer on skis. The financial side of the scholarship has meant that I no longer needed to keep up a part time job whilst studying and training which has relieved a huge pressure and allowed me to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

3Dentistry is a challenging degree course and involves a lot of hard work and long days. In fifth year, we receive around four hours of teaching a week in addition to a further 20-25 hours of clinics and patient treatment within Manchester Dental Hospital. We treat our own patients for three mornings per week and also treat patients on other clinical specialties such as oral surgery, paediatrics and the dental casualty service.

The first two years on the dentistry programme are largely academic and follow a similar structure to the other medical sciences. During these initial years we learnt anatomy, physiology and histology through the enquiry-based learning structure which suited me well as we had very few contact hours and your learning was very self-directed which meant I was able to work it around my training schedule.

Third year in Dentistry has a notorious reputation for being the hardest academic year of the programme, as you are forced to combine your knowledge from first and second year with clinical aspects of the degree and also begin to treat patients. Fourth and fifth year are largely based around clinical time and treating patients to prepare us for our foundation year after graduating.

In fourth year we are put in community dental practices throughout Manchester to further develop our clinical practice. Fifth year so far has been very different to other years due to the application for foundation jobs (which comprises of a situational judgement test and two interviews) and the increased pressure to develop our skill range for life in practice.

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Studying Dentistry at Manchester has been tough but very rewarding; the patients are so grateful and I believe as students we are well looked after by the school. On top of that, being able to keep skiing competitively through the University, I have continued to race on the national dry slope circuit, progressing throughout the years to become the British series female Champion on this surface for two consecutive seasons from 2014-16.

 

 


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