Dina Asher-Smith (History, 2017) is the fastest British woman in recorded history. She holds the British records in the 100 and 200 metres. Dina has competed at Olympic, world and European athletics championships and is the current 200m world champion. Here, Dina shares how she balanced her sporting career with her time at King’s and why giving back is not optional for her.
How did you balance your studies at King’s with your sporting career?
I balanced my training and study through lots of organisation. I didn’t miss a lecture unless I was competing and did all of my work on time. If you have a busy schedule, the worst thing is having to catch up, because you don’t have time. I was focused, and I gained those skills from my sporting career. Whether it was a lecture or sport, I was fully contributing.
How important do you think it is for institutions like King’s to support young athletes?
It is so important. Institutions like King’s and other Russell Group universities are very aspirational. If King’s is seen to support young athletes, it shows that you can do a prestigious degree and compete at the highest level at the same time. For King’s to make time for, and prioritise, sport has far-reaching consequences.
If King’s is seen to support young athletes, it shows that you can do a prestigious degree and compete at the highest level at the same time.
What’s your favourite memory from King’s?
I have so many favourite memories. One that really stayed with me was when I was doing a varsity athletics session at Battersea Park. There were so many other King’s athletes who I hadn’t met before. I remember looking around and feeling like I was part of something really special.
What does giving back to your local community mean to you?
I think it’s so important. Personally, I am really big on grassroots athletics and being a visible role model. I know where I come from. I am the result of many people and institutions’ hard work. The idea that I can enjoy success and not give back seems really foreign to me. I want to make a positive difference.
Personally, I am really big on grassroots athletics and being a visible role model. I know where I come from. I am the result of many people and institutions’ hard work.