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Matilda Nicholls (Photo by Matt Austin)

This Girl Can - Matilda Nicholls Interview

As part of This Girl Can month, we caught up with student Matilda Nicholls, who represents the British Sailing Team and is one of our scholarsShe has participated in this unique sport since a young age and has travelled worldwide. Hear what Matilda has to say about her sailing journey...

Q: How did you first get into sailing? 

I was super lucky to have grown up in Bermuda when I was younger. It meant that I got to learn to sail on such incredible waters from the age of 8 to 13. I used to walk down from school to the Yacht Club each Wednesday with my friends to go sailing and as we got older we would start to race against each other on the weekends.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about sailing? 

I love the incredible people that are involved with my sport. Many friends that I first met at international competitions when I was 12, and I am still competing against almost 10 years later. It is a sport filled with competitive, hardworking individuals but equally, we are always looking out for one another.  

Q: What’s the best place you have travelled to with sailing and why? 

The most amazing place I’ve travelled to for sailing has got to be Lago di Garda in Italy. It’s an incredible lake surrounded by mountains and amazing scenery. There is always plenty of wind for sailing and it’s just a gorgeous place to explore after a day of training or competing.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a student at University of Exeter? 

I really enjoy the environment here at Exeter that has been created by the students and University together. I love being able to walk onto Campus, into the gym or into town each day and always seeing a familiar face. I feel very proud to be a part of this University and all it has to offer for us both as individuals and collectively.  

Q: How has the TASS sailing hub supported you whilst at University of Exeter? 

There is no way that I would have been able to balance a full-time degree and life as a professional athlete without the support from the TASS sailing hub here at Exeter. I always feel comfortable asking for help when I need it whether it be academic, sporting or wellbeing related. The elite sporting environment that the University maintains here is also an amazing place to grow and thrive in as an athlete.  

Matilda Nicholls (student and scholar)

Date: 20 February 2023