I feel part of many little communities that form one big community - from SportBU and my course to my friends in Bournemouth. I am surrounded by amazing people, and with amazing people, great things happen.”
Growing up in Cornwall, Saskia has always loved living on the coast - it’s also one of the reasons she chose BU.
Originally planning a career in Sports Psychology, Saskia eventually chose to study Geography, explaining: “I have competed in windsurfing for ten years and plan to be a full-time athlete until at least 2024. But I know that won’t last forever and after my athletic career has ended, I plan to use my degree in whichever direction life has taken me.
“As soon as I got on campus I knew it was the university I wanted to be at, everything just felt right. I moved into halls a week later than everyone else because I was competing at a World Championships in Spain. When I walked into the kitchen in Dorchester House, all my house mates got up from the sofas and gave me a huge hug immediately and helped me in with all my bags. I felt so welcome and was so happy to have made it to uni!"
Saskia’s athletic career to date is certainly no small feat. Not only is she four-time windsurfing world champion, Saskia has been a member of the British sailing team since 2013 and was awarded the title of National Champion in 2015 and 2016 for her achievements in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).
She is now campaigning for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (along with her twin sister!) where she hopes to earn a medal.
As Saskia prepares for her final year, where she will complete her dissertation and final unit of her course, she is also planning a move to Weymouth where the British sailing team are based.
Reflecting on her BU experience, she said: “It is so motivational and inspiring to meet other athletes on the scholar programme who are crazy enough to also try to combine studying and being an athlete. I have made a lot of friends who are scholars from different sports and it is so nice to have friends that just 'get' you and understand what you are trying to achieve.
“I couldn’t have wished for better support from the university. In particular, I’m thankful to the SportBU staff as well as academics in the Sports department. I’m also grateful to my Faculty for allowing me to study the final year of my course over two years so that I am able to manage my time properly between training, competing and studying.
“I have made friends for life and think I now have most of the 'tools in my toolbox' to go on and achieve anything I want to."
Saskia is an inspirational person to be around, and she offered some words of wisdom to students looking to following in her footsteps.
“My advice to any one pursuing a dream is to believe in what you’re doing, and go for it 100%," she said.
"Remember to be kind to yourself and people around you and ask for help. Build a team around you - my 'Team Saskia' includes coaches, friends, family, sports science specialists - key people who will get the best out of you. Finding people that you enjoy being around will bring best out in you and make life easier.
“Finally, don’t ever be afraid of failing. Failing is a learning experience and as long as you use it as that, then you haven't failed, in fact you have grown.”