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News > Alumni Spotlight > Pedro Lucas

Pedro Lucas

A vibrant international culture, which I deeply cherish
Pedro Lucas
Pedro Lucas

After graduating from St. Julian’s in 2019, Pedro Lucas is pursuing his studies at Instituto Superior Técnico, where he specialises in Naval Engineering. He plays rugby for Clube de Rugby do Técnico and represents the Portuguese National Team, fondly known as Os Lobos. Pedro was in the team selected to go to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The team achieved its first-ever tournament victory, marking a significant milestone for Portuguese Rugby.

What was your experience like attending St. Julian's?

It was an incredibly enriching experience. The connections I made at St. Julian’s are for life. Whenever I go to play in different countries, I find comfort in knowing that I have a friend there. The school gave me a network of friends. It has a vibrant international culture, which I deeply cherish.

Did attending the International Baccalaureate programme prepare you for your academic career?

It equipped me with the necessary skills to handle higher education's workload and academic rigour. Transitioning to university, where all my studies were conducted in Portuguese, posed challenges as I adapted to the Portuguese educational system. Nevertheless, in terms of the level of dedication and effort required, I found that my previous experience prepared me exceptionally well.

Did you have any favourite teachers?

I had the privilege of having several teachers whom I greatly admired during my time at school. Mr Thorley, from the PE department, stands out in particular. His guidance in sports science and physical preparation in the gym was invaluable to me. He shared my passion for rugby, and our connection remains strong to this day. I still receive his support messages before games and know he continues to watch and follow my progress. Mr Sleeman, my math teacher, was also exceptional in his teaching.

Do you have a cherished memory from SJS?

The Year 12 IB trip to Granada was an unforgettable experience. Another excursion that left a lasting impression was when we went to Sesimbra as part of the Outdoor Education Programme. The highlight of the trip was cliff jumping. Fortunately, my group successfully completed the adventure. Not all groups had the same luck; one group faced an unexpected setback when a storm struck and could not complete the trip.

Since its inception, Mr Mount has been instrumental in developing rugby at St. Julian's. He has sent the following four questions to Pedro.

When did you start playing Rugby at St. Julian's, and how did that come about?

I began my rugby journey at St. Julian’s when I was just seven years old, joining the sub-8 team. My dad introduced me to the sport, being a rugby player himself. Our training sessions, led by Mr. Palmer, took place right after school. Despite my young age, I found the experience incredibly enjoyable from the start. I believe it's essential for young players to find joy in the game early on.

What are your best memories of playing Rugby at St. Julian's?

Some of my fondest memories date back to when I was just eleven years old. Our U12 team was exceptional, with a formidable lineup of powerful forwards and fastbacks. Winning almost every game we played alongside them was fun and incredibly rewarding.

Did you ever go on tour with St. Julian's rugby club (and what do you remember most of those experiences)?

I had the opportunity to go on tour twice, with one memorable trip being to Treviso, Italy, near Venice. It was an incredible experience. On the plane, we were just kids having fun. As soon as we landed, we focused on the upcoming games. Our hard work paid off, as we achieved good results. Facing Italian teams was a different experience; they appeared older and more aggressive compared to the Portuguese teams we were accustomed to playing against. However, recognising this difference spurred us to raise our game and match their level of intensity. These matches were intense and memorable, and I relished every moment.

What was it like singing the national anthem at the Rugby World Cup?

It's an absolutely surreal memory, something you envision from the moment you start playing. After our tournaments, we would always make it a point to watch the national team play. I vividly recall sitting in the stands, watching them in action, and thinking, "This is the dream." The idea of representing my country, standing on the world stage, singing the national anthem at the Rugby World Cup - it's a feeling that's truly beyond words. Amidst the overwhelming rush of emotions, there's also the need to stay grounded to focus on the task. It's a delicate balance - you can't let yourself be swept away entirely by the emotions. There's still a game to be played and work to be done.

What advice would you give our students wanting to follow a sports career?

They have to put in a tremendous amount of effort to achieve their goals. Finding time for training during the day is crucial. For instance, when I was at St. Julian’s, I made use of the gym facilities after school. With classes ending at 4.00 pm, I would head straight to the gym located in the school’s Sports Pavilion, bypassing the need to go home first and then to another gym. This approach allowed me to maximise my time effectively. After the gym session, I dedicated my evenings to studying before attending training later at night. The key advice is to make the most of every minute available. Time becomes a precious commodity when aiming to excel in sports at the highest level. Therefore, it's essential to minimise time wastage wherever possible.

 

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