BRENTWOOD’S rising table tennis star Evangeline Collier is hoping next month’s World University Games will prove to be a stepping stone towards her dream of playing in the Olympics.

The 20-year-old will be one of 10,000 athletes from more than 150 countries competing in the World University Games in South Korea.

The event, which takes place between July 3 and 14, is recognised as the second largest multi-sport games behind the Olympics.

The former Trinity School pupil believes such grand surroundings can help to spur her on to bigger and better things.

She said: “The World University Games is the biggest thing I have competed in so far and it is a great stepping stone for events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

“I have never been in a multi-sport environment before, so it will be new for me and it will be an experience that I won’t forget.

“Getting to see different players and different sports gives you a taste of what the Olympics will be like – obviously at university level – but you can’t beat this kind of experience.

“I would love to reach the Commonwealth squad and the Olympics as well and this is almost a stepping stone to start me off. With the support the English coaches give to strive towards the Commonwealth Games, it is definitely a reachable challenge. I am excited about the journey ahead.”

Collier has admirably juggled the second year of her sports education and special education degree at Nottingham Trent University while playing for not only Sycamore Table Tennis Club but also for PW Diest in Belgium.

Injury in February ruled Collier out for a month, but she has had a superb time since, helping PW Diest win their league to reach the highest division in Belgium before she was called up to the Great Britain squad for the World University Games.

Collier added: “I am very pleased to be competing. It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing so I’m anxious to get out there. I have never been to Korea before so it is exciting.”

British Universities and College Sport is the governing body for higher education sport in the UK, representing 170 institutions and facilitating 52 sport programmes. BUCS will be sending a delegation of Great Britain’s next generation of elite athletes to the World University Games (Summer Universiade). For more information visit