Name: Loren Bleaken
Sport: 400m Athletics
Course: Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation and
Year of study: 1st Year
My name is Loren Bleaken and I am a 400m runner. I started my running career in year 7 when I first started to compete in cross country, previously I was a national swimmer. Starting out in cross country I went on to win the biggest age group event for my age and then also won the English schools 1500m on track. From the moment I started competing I wanted to win. From here I progressed into running 800m where in 2012 I won England indoor and outdoor gold, becoming 800m indoor record holder, and winning the majority of the age group championships in the year.
In 2013 I qualified to compete in my first International, competing for Great Britain where I made the 800m semi-final in the European Junior Championships, Italy. In 2014, I decided after changing coaches, 400m would be a great challenge for me and I wanted to see what I could achieve in this event. During my first year of competing in 400m I qualified to compete for Great Britain again at the World Junior Championships in Oregon, USA where I came away with a Silver medal in 4x400m. These are some of my proudest achievements. I am currently on training towards competing in the Commonwealth games in 2018 and then looking on to the goal of competing in the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.
What difference has the scholarship made ?
When choosing a University, a main area I was focused on was making sure I was able to pursue my athletic career alongside my academic studies. Cardiff Metropolitan University offered a great range of scholarships which would be a great help towards me being able to balance training commitments and studies. The scholarship has been able to help support me through funding towards my accommodation, and has also given me an allowance for the canteens around campus which has allowed me to grab snacks or food between training and lectures. Massage support has also been a great help as this helps to keep me injury free and aids better training performance which I may not have been able to afford if I didn't have this support.