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By Ahsana Parammal Vatteri, PhD in Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering 

Project Active sessions have influenced my life at UCL as a PhD student-parent in many ways. I have been an active person and team player all my life back in India but was finding new challenges after starting a PhD at UCL, mainly because of time constraints and the cultural differences. 

Having a small child demanded prioritising time, strictly to either my work or childcare, which meant no time for socialising or even making friends. It was at that point that I came across Project Active sessions for beginners which allowed me to try new sports and workout activities that fitted well into the daily routine at university. I was especially interested in the women-only sessions and went straight into it.

I started with Squash and later moved on to explore different options like Zumba, barre, HIIT and found myself most attracted to yoga. The Project Active sessions gave me the much-needed me-time to focus and reconnect with myself. As an individual-centred activity, the yoga sessions may not seem great for socialising, but I have made some connections with people who attend regularly. 

The best part is you do not need to sign up for a whole term or month, as sessions can be booked for just a day, which is ideal when you want to try out different options and choose the ones you like the most. Also, there’s no need to worry at all about how good you are at something, all sessions are completely beginner-friendly. 

The Project Active sessions gave me the much needed me-time to focus and reconnect with myself.


Project Active sessions are beginner-friendly, inclusive activities (there are women’s-only sessions too) that don’t break the bank. With no commitment or experience necessary you can come and enjoy a range of activities from yoga and HIIT to 5-a-side football, rugby and hockey - it’s all about having fun and being active in whatever way works for you. studentsunionucl.org/project-active