GREG Mairs says completing a hat-trick of mixed doubles gold at BUCS Nationals is the perfect way to end his university days.

Representing Loughborough University, the 22-year-old and playing partner Jenny Moore, who is also his girlfriend, clinched their third title in as many years on Sunday.

Mairs, a former student at Weaverham High School and Sir John Deane’s College in Northwich, also triumphed in the men’s equivalent alongside Farid Akroum as more than 6,000 students descended on Sheffield for three action-packed days of sport.

Mairs and Moore faced Matt Clare and Viki Williams in an all-Loughborough final.

“It was a tough match, and we had to really fight to get our third title," said Mairs, a Cheshire regular as a junior.

"Jen’s been struggling with injury for a bit so she had to sacrifice her women’s doubles.

“Matt and Viki came out and took it to us; in the second set we had to fight for our lives and fight against the crowd.

“Because we know each other so well, we know what each other are doing and trying to do, so Matt and Viki took away some of our strengths and we took away some of theirs.

"There weren’t many rallies at all, but it’s hard playing people you know.”

The UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, BUCS Nationals has provided a building block in the fledging careers of many of Great Britain’s finest athletes.

And with March’s All England Open Championships in Birmingham approaching, Mairs, a key member of Loughborough Lightning’s squad in the AJ Bell National Badminton League, says his BUCS victories will help with confidence.

“It’s always good to win titles and I’ve not won a title all year apart from BUCS so it’s nice to get a trophy,” he added.

“We showed people that Loughborough are a force to be reckoned with, and BUCS is really prestigious.

“We haven’t won a tournament since last year so we’re taking confidence from this performance, and hopefully we can take that through to the All England; that would be fantastic.”

* British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, bringing over 6,000 athletes to Sheffield to compete in nine sports