Samantha Boyce

Meet Samantha!

I'm Samantha. I'm originally from New Zealand but I moved around countries quite a bit throughout high school. I lived in Indonesia, Germany and Singapore, then chose to come over here for uni. I’m in my second year of psychological science, but I major in management. Basically I like to look at how psychology can help in the work place- how someone can be a better manager or understand their workers better.

How’s this for a story of dedication and self-motivation…

With all the moving around in school, I found that playing sport in a team, like a basketball or soccer, was the best way to make friends. I'd join a team as soon as I got to a new place and make friends really easily. Everyone would have the same interests and it was such a good way to meet people. It kind of takes the pressure off starting at a new school.

Towards the end of high school, though, I wasn't doing as much sport and I felt I was missing something. I needed something personal so I decided to set myself a goal and I took up triathlons outside of school.

I trained myself and made my own programs because I didn't have a coach. I eventually did a qualifying race in New Zealand after about 7 or 8 smaller races in Singapore, just to see how I went, and I made the under 19 national team! It was all basically to show myself what I could do.

After qualifying I was like 'right, I want to do well. I want to get better.' So I found a coach and worked with him for the next year. I trained my arse up and went to Mexico for the International Triathlon Union World Championships in September last year.

It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, hands down. There’s a famous clip where one of the Brownlee brothers, who are the probably the best triathletes in history, collapsed just before the end of a race. Well that was in the race right after mine. If the elite athletes found it difficult to manage the conditions, imagine what it was like for an amateur competing in the same environment. The whole way I just had to keep pushing and pushing. I fainted at the end of the race actually, but all I wanted to was finish. I ended up coming 10th in the world though, and my goal was top 10 so it was great!

After Mexico I focused back on uni exams and kept up a little bit of training over Christmas. I actually find it reasonably easy to fit training in around study. It’s a lot easier when you have a schedule and it’s all down on paper. For example, I dedicate Tuesday and Thursday morning to swimming, so I go for a swim from 7 until 8, then on Wednesdays and Fridays I go cycling at half-past five. After that I'll have from 8 to 9 to get ready for class and everything. Then after class I'll go to the gym or go for a run.

It really doesn't take that long- half an hour to an hour is all. Even if you have a break in your day, it's easy to do 20 mins workout or something. I've found it actually helps because I get more awake and more stimulated for study. The endorphins are great! Then when it comes to go to bed at night, you're tired so you get to sleep really easily.

I would be so lost without sport at uni to be honest. I've met so many people, even lecturers and tutors who have come for rides with us and have amazing stories. They always have these interesting events that they invite me to now and everything. It’s such a great way to meet new people. I live in college so I have my college friends, but it's always good to have that other group of people from different areas of life. You can find out what they're doing and get a bit more inspiration.

Even for international level athletes, starting something new can be scary!

I'm quite involved in the UNSW Cycling and Triathlon Club. I have a leadership role in the triathlon area but I'm also quite a keen cyclist.

In triathlons you don’t ride in groups, you have to be 10 meters apart, so I was really nervous when I first started with the cycling club because riding in a group was a totally new experience for me. It’s like so many other things though; once you get out of your comfort zone a little bit, you realise it’s not actually that hard. Even if you’re scared, come and try it. You'll make friends and they'll give you plenty of tips and everything. There's a certain technique and once you get it you'll be fine.

If you’re even slightly thinking about doing sport, check out the She Can webpage. I've had a lot of friends ask me and I've directed them straight there. Try out a sport at the free sessions, and if you like it, there’s so many ways to get involved. The Arc Sport website has email addresses of everyone you would need so you can contact the right person. Just talk to someone about at and they’ll help you get involved. You'll make so many good friends.

So where to from here for this amazing sportswomen?

That journey to 10th at the World Championships has just motivated me to do better. Now I'm in the 20 to 24 age group but I'm only 20. You generally peak when you're 22-24, so I don't really have a chance of qualifying for the international level again until probably next year because of my age and that big step up from under 19s to under 24s. I kind of want to focus on cycling and smash out unigames first. The next big target is World Championships on the Gold Coast in September 2018. I've already started training for it to be honest!