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The Team GB women's relay team celebrate victory, four women hold up a flag behind them ;

On the road to Tokyo 2020

We caught up with King’s Psychology student Imani-Lara Lansiquot as she looks ahead to competing in the 2020 Olympic Games, finding out how King's is supporting her academic and athletic careers.

What encouraged you to come to King’s?

Well – I was born in King’s College Hospital!

I’ve always wanted to go to King’s, and they started offering a Psychology BSc the year before I started  which was perfect timing. I knew I needed to stay in London for training, and the great vibe I got from King’s – and the amazing sports programme – helped me decide. I’m really enjoying my final year and I've just finished a great module called Women’s Mental Health. If I entered a career in psychology, I would want to focus on post and pre-natal depression.

How have you found balancing your studies with training for the upcoming Olympics?

It has been tricky! I want a first class degree, so I’m balancing that with my desire to do well at my first Olympic Games. Although there have been challenges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. University is perfect for keeping balance in my life.

I’ve been training for almost ten years and it’s given me a resilient mindset. I’m really organised without thinking about it, so I’m pretty good with all my deadlines and keeping ahead of assignments. My motivation for most things is 100 percent – I don’t go into things half-heartedly, which has enabled me to get the most out of my degree.

How do you unwind apart from your studies and athletic career?

I’m not the best at relaxing - but if I am I will probably sit at home with Netflix and watch a proper cheesy film. I love the Sex and the City Movie – iconic. Recovery is a huge part of my routine, so I also do yoga, pilates, and go to the pool and the sauna as part of my training, which is nice.

Headshot of Imani in front of the union jack flag

What achievements are you most proud of?

Academically, while I was doing my A-Levels I juggled it with the second World Junior Championships. It was really important that I did well because I knew I wanted to get into King’s, so to get my two A*s and a B, as well as ranking top 5 in the world, was a big moment for me.

I was also so proud to make the my first European Athletics Final in 2018. It was the last race my grandad got to see, so it was also important for my family. Apparently he was calling all the nurses into his room to watch me, so it means a lot to me.

How have your experiences with King’s Sport supported your dual career?

The King’s Sport Performance Programme is one of the main reasons I came to King’s. When you’re juggling a commitment as huge as a sport, it’s so valuable to know that the university can be flexible around that. My athletics career has excelled so much since I started university, and having that support there has really contributed to that. As a gold level athlete, the financial help I can access is also great for helping out with all the expenses, especially in my Olympic year.

King’s Sport and the staff there are so supportive. They’ve liaised with my tutors to help plan out my workload, reducing the burden on me. In my first year I took workshops learning about nutrition and psychology, and knowing I can go to the gym next to class makes my day a lot easier to manage. They’ve got my back, and it’s so great to see that the university is behind me when I’m competing.

I would 100 percent recommend the programme to any young athletes considering studying at university – King's will help you enjoy your sport and your studies. The infrastructure is so supportive and I’m definitely going to miss it when I graduate.

Three female athletes run down a track

Would you recommend getting involved in sports at university?

I think it’s important not to be one dimensional in life. There are lots of transferable skills in sport and academia that can help you be a well-rounded (and more employable) person. Whether you do sports for a hobby or compete internationally, it’s a great way to have balance in life. You can’t have too much of anything - that’s my philosophy!

What advice do you have for others in their studies?

I would say the most important thing is to undersell and overdeliver. It sounds silly, but having taken on loads of stuff I had to cut out and felt bad about, I think it’s important to gradually build up your commitments one by one. That way I’ve made sure I get a good balance, not trying to achieve everything all at once. Don’t push yourself too much, or you won’t do well in anything.

Performance Athletes


The King’s Sport Performance Athletes programme provides elite student-athletes with a support network to help them perform to the highest level possible in their dual-career. Through strength & conditioning, nutrition, physiotherapy, lifestyle and wellbeing support they aim to offer students a world class environment to improve athletically alongside their world class education.

King's recently became the first Central London University to be Accredited as a TASS Dual Career Centre, supporting students to achieve academic and athletic excellence.

For more information on the King’s Sport Performance Programme, please contact Health, Fitness & Performance Manager Zak Evans.

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