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UEL track star Maya Bruney wins ‘Most Potential’ award


Maya plans to combine her love of sport and design in her future career

By Lee Pinkerton

University of East London (UEL) Graphic Design student Maya Bruney has won a prestigious award in recognition of her outstanding potential as a track athlete. 

The ‘Most Potential’ award was presented to her at a ceremony last month organised by The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) – a programme that helps to support student athletes during their studies.

Maya was invited onto the scheme in 2017 after she won a hat-trick of medals at the European Under-20 Championships – a gold in the 200 metres and bronzes in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 metres relays. 

Maya’s athletics career started at the age of seven and she was a double English Schools Under-15 champion for the 100 and 200 metres.

As well as receiving financial support and specialised gym training programmes, TASS scholars have access to lifestyle coaching sessions such as advice on how to balance the life of a student with the demands of being an elite-level athlete. 

It is a tricky balancing act that Maya has apparently taken in her stride at UEL.

“At uni it’s been really easy,” said Maya. “My tutors are all really understanding and we find ways of making it work in terms of moving deadlines so it doesn’t clash with a competition, and that kind of thing.”

On the track, Maya is focused on gaining selection for next year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, followed by the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But Maya also has big academic ambitions and is already considering studying for a Master’s or even a PhD after she graduates next year.

She said, “I’ve been interested in design for most of my life. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor in design, and maybe combine my two interests and do a thesis on how sportswear improves the performance of athletes. I’d also love to collaborate with my sponsors, Puma, on something.”