EUSA Insider:

Heidrun Sigurdardottir

Age:                   25
Place of Birth:  Reykjavik, Iceland
University:        University of Frankfurt (GER)
Sport:                Football                                                                                            Published 7 June 2019

How and why did you get involved in Football?
I was born and raised in Iceland and I started playing football when I was nine years old. Before that I had tried a lot of activities like track and field and dancing, but never found anything that I wanted to stick to. Eventually a girl from my class took me with her to football practice and I instantly fell in love with the game. Back then almost everybody in my class played football in the summer and handball in the winter (due to bad weather) and that’s what I did too, until 10 years later when I had to choose between both sports – and lo and behold, I chose football.

Now I’m 25 years old and have been playing football for various clubs for the past 16 years, e.g. Eintracht Frankfurt, 1.FFC Frankfurt, SC Opel Rüsselsheim (all German clubs), UMFA (Iceland) and Olimipico de Madrid (Spain). Besides that, I also play for the university team of Frankfurt and still to this day I absolutely love being on the field.

Heidrun Sigurdardottir in action

What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I study law at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany and I’m finishing my fourth year. Besides studying I also have a part-time job and play football five times a week. It’s definitely challenging to juggle all these things at once, but I’ve gotten quite good at organising and prioritising myself. Studying law means spending insane amounts of time sitting in the library reading and/or writing long and complicated texts. Therefore it is absolutely essential for me to exercise one to two hours a day and what better way than to do it on the football field? When on the field I manage to clear my head and think of nothing else. For me football creates that important mental balance and without it I honestly think I would do a lot worse in the academic field.

Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Games 2018. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
My first European Universities Games experience was in 2016 in Zagreb (Croatia). It was also the first time my university team qualified for an international tournament and not quite knowing what we were getting into, we only ended in 8th place. Nonetheless we had an amazing time. We loved the atmosphere in the athlete’s village, the brilliant organisation and getting to know athletes from all around Europe. After that door opened to us, we were more eager than ever to win the next nationals and go to the next EUSA Games.

The European Universities Games in 2018 was our second time attending the Games. It was absolutely awesome, and I will forever cherish the memories made in Coimbra. The organisation was – again – flawless. They would organise sightseeing, events and parties, not to mention the opening and closing ceremony. Besides that, the volunteers and attachés were so friendly and caring, and we made a lot of new friends. I especially loved how university teams from the same countries bonded and cheered for each other. Two men’s football teams from Germany came to our games and cheered us on which made the wins even sweeter. The final match for the 3rd place ended in a penalty shoot-out and we went crazy the moment we realised we won. It was an amazing feeling to get the bronze medal and now we are thirsty for more!

“It was absolutely awesome, and I will forever cherish the memories made in Coimbra.”

Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
A lot of people only look at university as something you have to do in order to get your degree. But you can have so much fun while doing it! The adventures with the university team will be the moments I will always want to revisit. The university team has given me travels, new friends, more experience in football and unforgettable memories. University sport or sport in general is important for students in order to promote healthy living and an exciting way to get to know new people with the same interests.

Heidrun Sigurdardottir celebrating

In 2019 the European Universities Football Championships will take place in Madrid, Spain. Do you hope to be there, and if so, how have your preparations been, and what do you hope to achieve?
Luckily my university team qualified for this year´s Championship so: nos vemos en Madrid! 

It’s a funny thing: for the past years we didn’t really prepare for the tournaments or the Games. Since university football is not very big in Germany and everyone in the university team also plays for a football club, we hardly ever trained together. In the first year we didn’t really have a coach, we had no field to train on and our competition jerseys were from the 90s. But since we had very talented players, we managed to win the nationals and qualify for the Games. Since then we have – step by step – grown together and gotten more people in our corner. We now have two brilliant coaches and since end of April we train once a week (besides training with our own clubs of course).

After seeing what my team is capable of and the qualities of the players, I am really looking forward to Madrid and the goal cannot be anything less than becoming Europe’s next university champion and enjoying every bit of the way.

“Don’t quit your sport because you think you don’t have time for it – make time.”

What is your favourite university sport moment?

I’d have to say two things:

1. The feeling when I first arrived at the Games in Zagreb and I thought to myself how lucky I was to be surrounded by this bunch of intelligent, smart and healthy student-athletes that were all above average in their sport and the realisation that we were now somehow a part of that.

2. Landing third place in Coimbra in 2018. I still get goosebumps thinking back.

Heidrun Sigurdardottir with her team at EUG2018

What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
I would like to encourage all student-athletes to keep chasing their dreams. Don’t quit your sport because you think you don’t have time for it – make time. Just because somebody tells you that it won’t work out - at least try it. If you organise your time adequately there is so much you can do! Even if your university doesn’t offer your sport or doesn’t have a team, get involved yourself and make it happen. If it weren’t for people like that in my team, I would have missed out on Zagreb, Coimbra and all the adventures to come, and that would have been tragic.

EUSA would like to congratulate Heidrun for her success last year and we hope to see her again very soon, at the European Universities Championships 2019!