“Look for good trainers and learn from the best,” says Maria Szwed, a physiotherapy student at VPU and European champion in time-climbing. She assures that despite her many training sessions, she does not neglect her studies and therefore encourages all students to be active.
Maria Szwed is a first-year student in physiotherapy at Vincent Pol University. Her passion is climbing. Despite her young age, she has had numerous successes. How does she combine science with sport?
What titles have you won so far in your sporting career?
– In 2023 I was European Champion and World Vice-Champion in climbing under 20. In 2022 I won the title of Polish Champion and 2023 Vice-Champion of Poland. This may still change because the next championships will take place in a month’s time, but it will be a bigger challenge because I will already be competing in the senior category. So far I have competed in the junior category.
When did you become so fascinated with sport?
– Sport has always been a passion of mine. Swimming, climbing, cycling – I grew up in such an active family.
And why did you choose climbing?
– I have always climbed trees with my friends (laughs). But seriously, I attended a pool class and there was an opportunity to sign up for a climbing wall class there. I gave it a try. I now train with Olympic and several-time world record holder Aleksandra Mirosław and her coach Mateusz Mirosław.
What does sport give you?
– Sport gives me satisfaction and allows me to gradually achieve my goals. Whether in the gym or on the wall, setting a new personal record brings me a lot of joy and motivates me to keep working.
How did you feel when you achieved your first success?
– I didn’t believe in it. It was the first serious competition under a new coach. It was the championships and we had been training for three months, which may seem like a short time, but you could already see the results. I was always making mistakes at competitions, stumbling, and this was the first competition where every one of my starts was flawless and I set a personal best! I was so shocked that I kept checking at night to see if I really had the medal.
You are studying physiotherapy at VPU. How do you manage to combine sport with your studies?
– Today I was at the gym at 7 and had an exam at 9.30. I think I have a lot of free time. Sometimes I do two workouts a day, then this free time is less. I don’t think finding an hour and a half to train is a big problem even for someone who studies a lot.
You are also a scholarship holder of the Akademickiego Centrum Szkolenia Sportowego w Lublinie (Academic Sports Training Centre in Lublin). This is a great distinction.
– It’s a programme that brings together athletes who represent Lublin clubs and are students at universities that cooperate with ACSS. We receive financial support, travel assistance and a scholarship. The sport I practice is rewarding, but at the same time expensive.
What would be your advice to beginners in sport?
– Look for good coaches and learn from the best.
We keep our fingers crossed for your continued career and success.
– Thank you.
Interviewed by: Edyta Pać
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