Emily Roche

For me, I’m not as active now as I used to be, but playing sport has given me so much more than health & fitness, and has shaped both my life and my personality in a really positive way.

Most of my weekends have been filled up by lacrosse, ever since I can remember.  When I started at Sheffield Uni it was pretty obvious that I’d join the club, and already knew a few of the girls playing there.  For one thing, it kept me in shape, as I don’t bother going near a gym without lacrosse to motivate me, but something that people don’t always talk about is the confidence that you can gain through playing and coaching sport.

I was a very shy person when I first went to University, and the thought of having to speak in front of more than 10 people or so would have left me feeling pretty anxious.  After my 1st year, I ended up as co-captain of the beginners team, probably mostly because nobody wanted to do it at the time, and on my first session over 100 players turned up – I was sh**ting myself.  That year was a turning point for me, and I started learning a lot about myself and gaining confidence without realising it was happening.

I went from coaching beginner sessions, to club captain & helping to coach the 1st team, to running in my Students’ Union election because I loved University sport, and then into my first ‘proper job’ as Sports Officer.  From barely being able to mumble in front of 100 strangers, four years later I was hosting the University’s Sports Awards dinner for over 600 people, and lifting our Sheffield Varsity trophy in an Ice Hockey arena that seated around 8,000.  For me, there isn’t another avenue that could have brought me to be able to do that, and although the actual sport was my motivation, it was the communities, friendships, safety net and endless number of supportive people in my life that got me there.

Sport Sheffield was a home to me for 4 years, and gave me my best memories of Uni.  I love thinking about how many people this is true for, and Humans of HIIT is another perfect example of physical activity bringing people together at an important and tough time.


Thank you from the Humans of HIIT community for sharing your story!


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