Jedburgh swimmer Lucy Hope admitted she is excited to test herself against the best in Britain at BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Nationals this weekend.
The University of Edinburgh student will be competing in the 50m backstroke and 50m and 100m freestyle events.
And Lucy (21) is confident of performing well at the event.
“It’s always good in Sheffield, it’s a good pool,” she said. “It is fast and we race in that pool a few years times a year, so we know what it is like.
“It’s a good chance to race all the best people in Britain, pretty much, so it should be a good event. It’s good being there for the team and trying to get as many points as possible for the team.
“Our coaches definitely try and send the best team they can and make sure we are in the right events to get as many points as we can.”
The BUCS long course swimming championships are held at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport from February 16-18 and are part of BUCS Nationals, which sees multiple sports come together for one action-packed weekend.
The former Jedburgh Grammar School pupil believes her university should be aiming high, with ambitions of emerging as top women’s team at the meet.
“You want to swim well for the team especially in the relay so, hopefully, we can put a good leg in to get some good points for the team,” she added.
“I’ve raced the last couple of years at BUCS and I have always swum very well, and Edinburgh, as a whole, has done really well. We’ve got some really good girls coming through.
“We are definitely looking to push the likes of Loughborough to maybe get top girls’ team.”
For Lucy, her attention will soon switch to the Commonwealth Games, where she has been chosen to compete in individual events for Team Scotland, having participated in the 4x100m freestyle relay at Glasgow 2014.
And the second-year business and accounting student feels BUCS Nationals can offer a solid platform ahead of the games in April.
“On my side, I’m just focusing on the times and trying to get close to a PB (personal best) or even a PB ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” she concluded.
“I will just see how it goes with my times compared to everyone else.
“These Games are going to be a bit different because it is across the other side of the world. It is a different experience, and will be outdoors as well.
“It could be a bit different and also I’m down to race in individual swims this year, not just relays.”
BUCS Nationals powered by Muhdo is the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK, bringing the best of Britain’s university athletes together to compete across eight different sports in Sheffield. More info at bucs.org.uk and via #BUCSNationals