Beswick boxer Kane Gardner admitted he was delighted with his performances after ticking BUCS Nationals champion off his bucket list in Sheffield on Friday.
The light welterweight University of Salford student was making his BUCS Nationals bow despite being in his third year, and made light work of the opposition as he cruised to a decision win over Alex Zendra.
The 20-year-old was one of 6000 students to descend on the Steel City for this year’s edition of the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event.
Gardner has his sights set on turning professional next year, but says it has been a long standing dream to fight at the BUCS Nationals.
“It feels good to be a BUCS Nationals winner, I wanted to do this in my first two years at university but I couldn’t because of time,” he said.
“So I was determined to enter in my final year and get the title. I knew I was going to win because I have got a lot of experience. I’ve had a lot of bouts so I just used that experience and got the job done.
“This is something I have wanted to tick off my bucket list for a long time so I’m just really happy that I managed to get that done.
“It’s a good event, I’ve really enjoyed it and had some good bouts. To win the nationals in my final year is massive.”
There was plenty of success for Manchester’s finest over the weekend, with Crystal Barker also claiming gold in the ring with a TKO win in the 57-60kg over Natasha Hobbs.
And in the pool Manchester Metropolitan University student Martin Schweizer claimed silver in the men’s 50m breaststroke at Ponds Forge.
“I am in a heavy block of training, I am trying to qualify for the Olympics in a couple of weeks back home in Switzerland, so this wasn’t a main meet, but it is a stepping stone and it is always good to race here,” said Schweizer.
“There’s a lot of good swimmers here and it is a great competition.
“It takes a bit of the pressure off and it is a bit more fun because you have your university teams, it is a great balance as well. You can be focussed during the race, but you can enjoy it when you are here.
“It is the Olympics, so it is never going to be easy, but I have a shot, you always have a shot.
“In terms of Rio, as soon as you get there, you will just want to get through the heats and maybe swim the semi-finals, but for me it would just be the greatest thing just to be there and compete, enjoy the Olympic spirit and the atmosphere.”
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Partnered by Deloitte, BUCS supports athletes from a grass roots level through to Commonwealth and Olympic Games hopefuls www.bucs.org.uk