“Sport has and always will play a major part in my life; it has supported me through major changes in my life and has given me a new focus when I felt like I was ready to give up.” - Uliana Lysych.
Uliana is a second-year college student at UCD School of Architecture in Dublin and moved to Ireland earlier this year from Ukraine. Uliana is a very active and creative person, and enjoys volleyball, badminton, cycling and tennis. Since college, she has put fencing as her main focus.
How / When did you first get involved in your sport?
I started fencing at college and picked it out as just an activity to do because it matched my timetable. Little did I know I would commit to it this much.
What Sport or Activities would you have done / do you do the most?
Currently, I cycle to and from college every day, I play volleyball once or twice a week for 2 hours, and I do 2-hour fencing practices three times a week. I also do two fencing coaching sessions per week.
What is your experience with sport?
So far, I have been fencing for nearly a year now. I have already attended 6 competitions and a training camp. I have been over the moon with the experience.
How has sport and physical activity impacted your life?
The sport has and always will play a major part in my life, it has supported me through major changes in my life and has given me a new focus when I felt like I was ready to give up.
What does your college do to encourage an active environment?
UCD provides a very broad range of opportunities for students to participate in sports. The social sessions are great and organised by different clubs for everyone to join and play no matter what level you are at.
Have you noticed many teenage girls stepping away from sport? If so, how does that make you feel?
I have noticed a lot of teenage girls dropping sports due to many different reasons, mostly because of workload or stress. I’ve been there myself, and I stopped my 9 years dance career right before my final year to lessen the stress of exams. What I will say though is that while you are dropping sports activity you shouldn’t stop being active and participating in your favourite sport. Movement gives you a distraction and relaxation, it allows your mind to refocus on the important tasks.
What’s your advice to someone thinking about dropping out of sport?
As someone who did drop sport, I would say reconsider your decision. Look for all possible options available, I suggest instead of dropping out completely keep popping in on the occasional practices.
Is there any advice you have for parents trying to support their daughter participating in sport?
The only thing I would say is to keep encouraging and helping with anything possible because it is sometimes hard to keep believing in yourself in any sport.
Have you any advice for someone thinking of getting involved in sport or physical activity?
Go and try the sport you wish to join, if undecided pick anything that sounds fun in your mind.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I am right-handed and write with my right hand, but I do all sports leading with my left one as my dominant hand.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO ULIANA FOR TELLING HER MOVES ALL ABOUT HER STORY. IF YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING STORY TO TELL, PLEASE LET US KNOW. YOU CAN MESSAGE US ON INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK OR TWITTER!