UNIVERSITY students have it easy, some might say, as they battle to balance the rigours of few hours of lectures each day with their busy social calendar.

But for Andover’s Holly Mills, studying is only a part of the work.

On top of her 12 to 15 hours of lectures a week as part of her sport and exercise undergraduate course at Brunel University, she’s also now training for a spot at this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

The 19-year-old puts in at least 35 hours a week of training - on top of her time in the library - and after a string of success at junior level is being touted as a future heptathlon star.

Holly admits that juggling her student life with training can be tough, but it’s never a burden.

“I don’t see training and missing out on social stuff as a chore,” she said.

“I love what I do and so these things don’t really faze me. But it can be tough at times just to fit it all in as I’m training on average 35 hours a week, then there’s my lectures on top of that.

“My social life is limited – and yet you learn to work around it.

“I don’t see my friends as much as they see each other, but you have just got to sacrifice certain things in order to achieve your dreams.”

Holly was first spotted at a school sports day before she joined Andover Athletics Club. Initially a long-jumper before taking the leap to multi-sport events, she made her international debut at 16.

Last year she went from strength to strength, winning gold in the Under-20s Pentathlon at the National Indoor Championships with a record points total, claiming the National Under-20s Heptathlon with a championship record and scooping gold in the long jump at the International Mannheim junior gala.

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July then saw her compete at the European Under-20 Championships in Sweden, where she won bronze in the long-jump and placed fourth in the heptathlon.

And crucially, in the 100m hurdles, Holly produced the fastest ever time by a British Under-20 heptathlete – beating a record set by her idol, Jessica Ennis-Hill.

“That’s one of the things I am most proud of,” added Holly. “It had been quite a difficult transition – changing events, changing coaches and moving to uni.

“I had gone through quite a big change, so to score so highly and come up the rankings that much in my first year competing in heptathlon was quite an achievement.

“I aspire to be like Jess, to be strong in every single event. It makes you unbeatable.”

Now she’s set her sights on the Olympic Games in Japan this summer as she guns for qualification.

Holly added: “In the long term, I want to go to all the big competitions: the Worlds, Olympics, Commonwealth and Europeans at senior level.

“With this year being my first year as a senior it’s quite a big step up. But we’re focusing on putting in some solid performances and if while doing that I achieve the required standard, I will go to Tokyo.”

Nicki Bundock, director of CurraNZ, a blackcurrant supplement for which Holly is an ambassador, is delighted to have the up-and-comer on board.

Nicki said: “She is an inspiring and highly-motivated individual with an incredible story.

“At the age of 19 she’s showing her potential as a Great British athlete.

“It’s great Holly is seeing strong performance and recovery gains with CurraNZ, which is a unique supplement that’s becoming really popular with professionals across a range of sports.

“We strongly believe that the drive and determination she possesses will see her reach whatever goals she sets.”