The Universiade is a kind of Olympic Games for students. It will be held this year in Naples from 3 to 14 July. Student of Health and Society Hilde Jager (21) will represent the Netherlands as a judoka.
© Hilde Jager
Top sport and university: how do you combine them?
‘It is quite difficult. I often have to go abroad for tournaments and training. When I’m in the Netherlands, it is easier to combine them, but even then my training comes first, except when I have an exam. I live in a top sport house near Papendal, where a lot of sportspeople live and train. I train two or three times a day, except at weekends. To be able to manage it, I do one less course per period, and I consult with my teachers a lot. Sometimes I get different deadlines or I’m allowed to do a group assignment on my own.’
'How do you prepare for the Universiade?’
‘I am lucky that I don’t have many tournaments in the next few weeks. So I can carry on training and really get a lot stronger.’
How did you qualify?
‘The Judo Union looked at the different classes and selected from them. I am in the under-70-kilo class. It is certainly not my first international tournament – in fact I only take part in international tournaments – but it is my first big international event with a lot of different sports.’
Do you allow yourself a beer if you get a good result?
‘If I win a medal, I really celebrate. But I don’t drink beer and I’ve got another tournament straight after the Universiade, so I won’t go too wild at that party.’