Always studying? On your bike!

Elite mountain biker and BEng Civil Engineering student Rebecca Baraona has been president of the cycling society, secured a scholarship to help fund her course and sport, and gained a First in her first-year exams.

On sport and study

“Sport gives you a release; you can forget about university and any stresses you have. When I’m on my bike I don’t think about anything else. It’s pretty addictive – like most sports, when you find the right one. I think it really helps my studies, too, having that relaxing time.”

On sport at Manchester

“Manchester is great for sports. North Wales is really close, and the Peak District is right on our doorstep; lots of outdoor societies use it for kayaking, walking, running as well as cycling. In the city, student facilities are great – the Sugden Centre has everything you need.”

Rebecca Baraona
Rebecca manages to balance an exceptional academic life with a keen sporting career.

"Manchester is great for sports. North Wales is really close, and the Peak District is right on our doorstep."


On Manchester’s Sport Scholarship

“It’s allowed me to do a lot of training, which I wouldn’t otherwise do; I can’t afford the gym, let alone power sessions with a personal trainer, or physiotherapy – all of which the University provides me with. I’m hoping to see a real difference in my performance as a result.”

On balancing sport with study

“The sports department helps me set goals for both sport and my studies. I want to get into the world top 20 and UK top 3 for mountain biking, but I don’t want my degree to suffer – that’s why I’m at uni, after all. They do whatever they can here to help your sport fit with your degree and vice versa.

On the highlight of Manchester student life

“Getting voted president for the cycling club was a real highlight. I was so new to the club, it was cool to know that everyone was happy for me to run it. It feels like I’m in a little family. That and getting a First in my first year felt like ‘job done’ for me, it was really satisfying. And being able to get out on my bike as much as possible. As soon as I finish lectures today, I’m pedalling home and getting my big bike out. I can’t wait!”


Rebecca Baraona
BEng Civil Engineering