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As part of the This Girl Can Series, we've been catching up with some inspiring women who have found their passion through getting active.

Former UCL Dodgeball Club President for the year 23/24, Elisia Swaby has made her dreams of becoming a superhero a reality. With lightning reflexes and an unstoppable determination, Elisia tells us how she works hard to dodge every challenge and strike with precision to save one dodgeball at a time.

Have you ever found barriers that have stopped you from getting active in the past?  

Growing up in a flat/apartment. For a lot of people this means that you don't have access to a garden/nearby green space, so going outside and getting active was very dependent on if your friends and loved ones has planned for an outing to a park etc.

What motivated you to get active and what activities do you do?

Bit of a cheesy one. I really love superheroes, especially their agility, so this is something I've always aspired for since I was a kid (without the superpowers obviously!).

I really love superheroes, especially their agility, so this is something I've always aspired to be since I was a kid."

To stay active, I do little challenges every day, such as walking up the escalator on the Underground or sprinting for the bus to campus. From a more sporting angle, I play dodgeball 2/3 times a week, both socially and competitively, which provides a nice balance between the fun and challenging sides of activities. 

To stay active, I do little challenges every day, such as walking up the escalator on the Underground or sprinting for the bus..."

Juggling exercise with other commitments can be tough. How do you fit exercise into your routine and balance it with other things happening in your life?

Depending on how free my evenings are, I like to allocate certain dates to exercise. Mon/Fri are embedded in my calendar as 'dodgeball days' which leaves the rest of the week to fit in something else e.g. gym, running, dance.

How does your chosen way of being active make you feel?

Like a superhero! I mean, that was the plan after all. Dodgeball involves a lot of movement, but also a lot of strength and possessing a really good reaction time.

Ultimately, I feel like a hero because I get to train so many skills."

You never know what to anticipate and this is one of the best challenges in a sport. So, I ultimately feel like a hero, because I get to train so many skills!

Impact of coronavirus - the coronavirus pandemic had a big impact on the ways in which we were able to exercise. Can you provide us with a short summary of how or if you managed to stay active or how your exercise routine was disrupted during this period?

During this period, it was quite difficult to exercise, as my family live in a flat/apartment, so as many will know- let's not bother the downstairs neighbours! Thankfully, a lot of online fitness influencers would have apartment-friendly routines that helped us to stay fit during the lockdown. My family also really like dancing, so I think that counts too!