Athlete Profile: Aliya Itzkowitz

An image of Aliya in academic wear and an image and Aliya fencing

Name

Aliya Itzkowitz

Course

MBA

College

St. Anne's

Sport

Fencing

Club

Team GB, Oxford Blues & Camden Fencing Club

Highest Competition Level

International

Best Achievement

Under-20 National & Commonwealth Champion

Short Term Aspirations

Qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics

Long Term Aspirations

Promote women's sport through business and community initiatives

How did you get into the sport?

I first tried fencing at an afterschool club. I was already playing a lot of sports but this was something different that neither my parents nor my older sister could advise me on. I liked that.

How has the Blues Performance Scheme helped you?

Tiahan and the team have helped me stay fit and strong throughout the year as I have prepared for international qualification events

What is your advice on balancing sport and academia?

Plan your weeks. Block off time for studying and time to get in your gym sessions. I find that with competitions and assignments popping up you an never plan more than week ahead but if you sit down on Sunday and map out the week ahead then you find a way to fit in everything that's important.

How have you managed training during lockdown?

In the beginning it was hard. I lacked motivation. I like fencing with others and I find more solitary forms of exercise boring. But, after talking with Tiahan, Mark & Frances I managed to rally myself back into a routine. I now have a strength program that I've been doing three times a week. I mix that up with bike rides, yoga and long walks. My advice to others is to acknowledge how you are feeling. It's normal to miss your sport, your teammates and the excitement of competition. But, remember that we won't be in this sitation forever and there are still things you can do. Doing something, no matter how small, will make you feel better mentally and physically - I guarantee it.