Campus Update from Texas
Riana Soobadoo came into the P4S system in February 2011 with a big reputation in the female game. Not only was she a member of the Barnet F.C Ladies Premier League squad, she was also the 2010 British Asian Young Sports Person of the Year.
In August 2011 she committed to a scholarship at St.Edwards University which is a private university in the city of Austin. Riana had completed her first year at Brunel University so entered the Fall semester as a transfer student. She was happy to answer some questions about her first year in the capital of Texas!
How was your first year and how did it differ from UK University?
It was very successful, thanks. It took me a bit of time to adapt to the changes, paticulary the heat, but after a couple of months I managed to acclimatize. The main thing that was different to Brunel was the academic side of things. The teaching here is a lot more personal with small class sizes (average of 20 people), which helped me. When I was at Brunel the class sizes were more like 100. Also, the soccer side of things is a lot different to what I have experienced before. College sport in the US is so professional, and student-athletes are treated as real professionals.
How did the Fall season go?
The season went really well. Our overall record was 15-3-1 and we won our Conference. We also made it to the Regionals but let ourselves down by getting knocked out in the first game.
What do you feel is the best part about being a student-athlete?
It is the opportunities and experiences you are exposed to. You get to travel all over the country to do something that you love doing, and get fed and put up in hotels for free! Also I found that once you are part of a team, you have an immediate group of friends.
Are the training methods different to what you are used to in the UK?
Yes, very different. We train at 6.15 am every morning! The thought of this daunted me before I joined but I love it now. You get training out of the way so you have the rest of the day to concentrate on class and anything else. In the Spring season we also all got Heart Rate Monitors during games and training. We are one of a few universities in the US to have these given to us. It gives us all important info and data to help improve our performances.
Is there plenty to do in the city of Austin?
Austin is the capital of Texas and the home of live music. I have grown to love the city. There is so much to do and lots of good places to hang out and eat food. Austin hosts the South by South-West concert where famous artists and bands all over the world come and perform.
Everyone at P4S is looking forward to seeing Riana continuing to thrive during her Sophmore Year.