Place of Birth: Kassel, Germany
University: University of Kassel (GER)
Sport: Taekwondo Published 10 March 2020
How and why did you get involved in Taekwondo?
The Taekwondo section of the club VfL Kassel (Germany) organised a yearly workshop outside on the local sports field during the summer vacation. I got wind of it, partcipated and immediately knew that it was the sport for me.
What do you study and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I am studying to be a teacher in the subjects math and sports (physical education). For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had training in the evenings, so it is a usual part of my day. Exercise is a way for me to forget the stress of everyday life and balance it out. Even if I’m not always up for a training session, but I find a way to motivate myself and feel all the better for it. I’m also fortunate to have a good basic physical fitness, which is kept up through my sports studies and helps me in my Taekwondo training.
Tell us about your experiences at previous EUSA events, or if EUG2020 is your first EUSA competition, tell us how you got involved in it?
This will be the first EUSA event for me. I heard a lot about Zagreb last year from my colleagues and it sounded like a wonderful experience I am really looking forward to. After my success at the Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaft 2019 (German University Championships), I was made aware of this event, and that I had qualified for it.
What are you looking forward to most in Belgrade, and what are your aspirations (can be sport wise but doesn’t need to)?
This will be the biggest tournament for me and I am thrilled to compete on a large stage. Beyond that, I am simply looking forward to the experience and being part of such a huge event. I generally love all sorts of different sports and am therefore excited to see everything the EUG2020 has to offer.
"I am looking forward to the experience and being part of such a huge event."
Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
Just to be able to shut off and escape the stress of everyday university life, enjoy the physical exercise and push yourself beyond your usual limits. Especially as college life can encompass a lot to juggle at times, it’s important to find a balance. It’s also nice to meet students from other faculties and connect in a different way.
What is your most memorable university sport moment?
After I had a Taekwondo break of over one year, I competed at the Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaften (German University Championships) in 2014 and unexpectedly won second place. This reminded me of my love of taekwondo and how much the sport means to me, and it enabled me to find my way back to it.
What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
Have fun and enjoy your sport!
EUSA would like to thank Manuel for his time, and we look forward to seeing him soon, at the 2020 European Universities Games in Belgrade, Serbia!