Iwan praises city as BUCS stops here

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OLYMPIC silver medallist Iwan Thomas says Sheffield is the perfect place for the BUCS Gatorade Nationals, which take place next February.

BUCS - British Universities and Colleges Sport - will see around 6,000 student athletes compete across 12 sports at 10 venues in the city.

Thomas, who was part of the 4x400m relay team at the 1996 Atlanta Games, said at the event’s launch this week: “It’s not just the facilities, it’s the people of Sheffield. I used to love competing at Don Valley, there was always really good crowds.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming here. Everything is so close with the facilities. And the EIS is such an amazing set up. It’s a good part of the world, I’ve never had a bad time in Sheffield.”

Thomas also believes the multi-sport format is a way of developing talented young sportsmen and women.

“It really helps. It gets you used to that environment.” he added.

“When I was at Uni I went to the Commonwealth Games and I was a bit star-struck. As an athlete you tend to mix with other athletes and not swimmers, or boxers or rowers.

“At a multi-sport events the professionalism of other sportsmen rubs off on you. You see other people who you respect and it gives you that self belief that if they’re good enough to be here then so are you.”