Portrait | Student Life

They make the Université de Lyon: meet Leïla Guermit

On The April 16, 2019

The Université de Lyon interviewed Leïla Guermit, a member of the Université de Lyon’s Sports Association, who discusses her experience as a world champion of university rugby sevens.

Please introduce yourself in a few words.

I am 20 years old and I am a second-year student in the undergraduate STAPS program (Science and techniques in physical education and sports activities) at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. I joined a rugby club in my senior year of high school. I was scouted by the Lou Rugby club during a rugby sevens practice session at the university, and I am now beginning my second season in the prestigious club in Lyon.

After being selected in international tournaments, I was given the opportunity of being one of twelve selected players to travel to Namibia in July for the University World Championship, where our team won the gold medal.

As a high-level athlete, what is the added benefit of being a member of the Université de Lyon’s Sports Association (AS UdL)?

The AS UdL aims to bring together the top athletes from all of the member institutions in the Lyon Saint-Étienne site and build the strongest teams to rival with other universities. With this ambitious project and collective enthusiasm, the AS UdL opens up opportunities for us to be selected and compete in major national and international tournaments.

I improved significantly by taking part in my first international experience and by joining the French university team. I was fortunate to share in this victory with top athletes, some of whom have signed contracts with the French Rugby Federation.

I would say that the AS UdL and the Lou Rugby club play complementary roles for me and both have played a part in building my skills. My next goal with the AS UdL is to compete in the 2019 Universiade in Naples, which is being organized by the International University Sports Federation.

What support and accommodations does the AS UdL provide you with during your studies?

During selections or tournaments, I am granted special accommodations from the AS UdL, primarily due to my title. I spend every Thursday afternoon practicing with the Elite Female Center.

Most of my professors are understanding if I have been injured or if I am tired after a competition. My high-level athlete (SHN) status also allows me to lighten my schedule when necessary. This comes into play during exams. I can group together my continuous assessments, or even only attend finals.

The AS UdL is also a key partner in events I am invested in. Aside from the athletic aspect, it gives me good advice on how to organize projects and connects me with people I wouldn't have found on my own. Sponsors and partners are always reassured when a student project is backed by a major institution such as the UdL.