UWS Alumna Crowned European and Scottish Duathlon Champion

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UWS alumna and academic Dr Hayley McEwan has been celebrating a range of sporting successes recently, following competing at the European and Scottish Triathlon Championships.

Hayley, who completed her PhD at UWS Lanarkshire Campus in 2015, won gold in the duathlon (running and cycling) in her age group at both the European event in Bilbao, Spain, and also came first in the Scottish event in St Andrews a week later.

She said she couldn’t have won the European and Scottish titles without the support of her UWS colleagues and several training sessions within the University’s environmental chamber.

I set myself a goal three years ago of seeing how far I could get in the sport and to show my girls how women of any age can commit to a goal and work towards it daily. I’d aimed to achieve this before I turned 40, but due to the pandemic and races being postponed, I qualified to race for GB again at aged 39 years and 11 months. I raced in the sprint duathlon in Bilbao which meant a 5km run, a 20km cycle then a 2.5km run. I was elated to win my race and even more so because my twin girls were waiting at the finish line. One week later I took part in the Scottish Duathlon Championships in St Andrews and became Scottish Duathlon Champion in my age-group.

Dr Hayley McEwan

Hayley races for Great Britain and spent nine years competing in the triathlon (swimming, cycling and running). With five-year-old twin girls and a bit less time on her hands, Hayley now focuses on the duathlon.

In the week’s leading up to the races, Hayley trained in the environmental chamber at UWS with support from her colleagues. One of only two in Scotland and the only one in the West of Scotland, the chamber replicates environmental extremes, from walking in the desert to standing on one of the world’s highest mountains and can be used by individuals to improve physical performance in the run up to events.

Hayley said: “The environmental chamber allowed me to train at temperatures and humidity reflective of Bilbao’s climate. As it turned out it was a manageable 17 degrees on the morning of the race, but the time running and cycling in the chamber was a huge psychological as well as physical benefit. As European champion, I have automatically qualified to race at the 2023 European Championships in the Netherlands. I might not need the heat of the environmental chamber, but it might be wise to think about altitude training next season.”

Hayley hopes her achievements can inspire others, especially her daughters and the students she teaches. Hayley is based at UWS’s Lanarkshire campus and is a Senior Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science within the School of Health and Life Sciences at the University.

Her areas of expertise include sport psychology, and the professional development of sport practitioners. In particular, Hayley researches the learning and development of psychologists, sport scientists, and coaches.

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1 Response

  1. Benny Sweeney says:

    Well done Hayley! All those Fridays playing football with me must have inspired you no end.

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