Athlete Profile: Priyal Bunwaree

Two images of Priyal playing table tennis and one image of her in the Hertford College library

Name

Priyal Bunwaree

Course

MSc Environmental Change and Management

College

Hertford

Sport

Table Tennis

Club

Oxford University Table Tennis Club

Highest Competition Level

International

Best Achievement

Attaining my best world ranking of 291 after my performance at the African Championships 2018. At University level, being BUCS finalist and qualifying for the European Universities Championships

Short Term Aspirations

Playing for clubs here in the UK while I complete my studies

Long Term Aspirations

Going back to train with the Mauritian Team and play for my country 

How did you get into the sport?

When I was 12, my mother encouraged me to take up a sport to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I picked table tennis and developed a real passion for the sport. I took part in regional and national tournaments, and after 2 years I joined the National Team.  

How has the Blues Performance Scheme helped you?

I've received incredible support this year from the whole team who made sure I could still keep training alongside my studies. The S&C and sports psychology sessions by experienced coaches have helped me improve in my game. 

What is your advice on balancing sport and academia?

I believe that sports and academia complement each other. Therefore I've always made it a must to devote as much time and effort to both training and studies. It's also been about using the skills I developed from sports to suport my academic life, for example, focusing on a goal, managing my time, reducing stress etc.

How have you managed training during lockdown?

The lack of space and training equipment has been challenging but I found it useful to plan a different exercise routine weekly, with a mix of cardio and strength training. I've been running, jumping rope, using resistance bands and using water bottles as weights.