Even if you’ve never done something before, if you approach it with enthusiasm and commitment, there’ll always be someone willing to help you out.

Jenny is from the UK, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Durham. Thanks to a sudden research opportunity here at UNSW, Jenny found herself beginning her PhD at UNSW just four weeks later!  

"I’ve been here for just over two years—I came over to start my PhD but I was excited to travel to the other side of the world and I’m really enjoying it here. I love the lifestyle—it's really relaxed and so easy to get outside because the weather is so great.
I was always pretty sporty growing up, at school I played hockey, badminton and a bit of football. I like being active and liked to try a bit of everything but it wasn’t until I got to uni that I got involved with outdoors stuff."

Jenny began rock climbing back in the UK, but has become even more involved since coming to UNSW, taking on the role of President of UNSW Outdoors Club and continuing as Vice-President this year.  

“Before I came over to Australia, I was checking out all of my options on the Arc Sport website. There were a lot that sounded cool like windsurfing, and I considered keeping up with my hockey, but the Outdoors Club just had everything that I could possibly want to do! To a certain extent, the PhD allows me to set my own schedule - I think if I were studying for exams constantly it might be too much. But, it’s something that I love so I make it work.
UNSW Outdoors Club has heaps of different disciplines within it including canyoning, caving, kayaking, camping and hiking and we’re trying to get mountaineering into the club now. The next trip we’re doing is a camping trip with 80 Club members, to Newnes—on the far side of the Blue Mountains, it’s a really stunning campground.
There aren’t tons of competitions in rock climbing, but there is one annual event between UNSW, University of Sydney and UTS that happened recently—and we won!"

Along with the rest of the UNSW Outdoors Club, Jenny ran a She Can rock climbing event to help encourage more women to get involved with the Club. 

"We have a weekly rock climbing night at The Ledge, at Sydney Uni, and for She Can we invited women from around UNSW and from other Clubs to join us. There were heaps of newcomers joining us on the night, but it was very supportive environment and we taught new climbers how to belay so that made it easier.
We hope to hold more She Can events next year and more regularly. The Club is pretty male dominated at the moment, so it’d be great to see more women get involved and it’s nice to see Arc Sport supporting women in sport. 

If you’re unsure of getting involved with Sport, I’d say just get stuck in and give it a go. Even if you’ve never done something before, if you approach it with enthusiasm and commitment, there’ll always be someone willing to help you out."

If you’re keen to get involved in similar sports, check out UNSW Outdoors Club, or sign up for a $5 climbing session with the club. 

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