Flinders gives its elite athletes a sporting chance

Scholarship winners: soccer player Sarah Willacy (front left) with volleyballers Brittany Kendall and Russell Moore,

Juggling university study with the normal range of external demands is already a big ask: add in the time required to train for an elite level sport, and the degree of difficulty becomes daunting.

Thanks to a round of sports scholarships presented recently at Flinders, the task faced by a group of successful student athletes has eased.

The five full Flinders ONEsportandfitness Scholarships, which are funded through the Students’ Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), allow the student athletes more convenient access to training facilities through free annual membership to the University’s on-campus gym and CrossFit program, and also provide $1000 of support to attend Australian University Sports events.

Another 12 students, who are high achievers in sports that include table tennis, taekwondo and triathlon, received Development scholarships that provide free gym membership.

Presenting the scholarships, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Andrew Parkin said that Flinders recognised the value of athletic and sporting endeavour as a contributor to a fully rounded education.

“We have always recognised that what happens in the classroom is only part of the educational experience,” Professor Parkin said.

He said that revenue from the SSAF is directed to a series of high-impact, high-priority services and opportunities for students.

“There is no question that sports facilities and sports services are a major part of that,” he said.

To assist in managing the demands of training and to encourage students to combine their academic and sporting pursuits, Flinders is also a member if the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network. Students who successfully nominate for the program can modify their curriculum workload and deadlines, enabling them to reduce the effects of training and attending major competitions on their academic work.

The full scholarships went to Nursing student Edward Chittleborough (hockey); Law student Holly Takos (cycling); Education/Health Sciences student Narelle Badenoch (rowing); Sport and Physical Health student Brittany Kendall (volleyball); and Nanotechnology student Russell Moore (volleyball).

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