Scholarships fast track women’s cycling success

Former student Steph Morton, and current students Rikki Belder and Holly Takos.

Women’s cycling is taking off at Flinders, with current and former students putting on a real show at the recent Australian Track Cycling Championships.

Former student Steph Morton, current students Holly Takos, and Rikki Belder showed the rest of Australia how to get the job done, winning the Elite Women’s Team Sprint.

Other results were also impressive:

Women Team Sprint Gold – Rikki Belder and Steph Morton

Women 500 metre Time Trial Silver – Rikki Belder

Women Sprint Final Gold – Steph Morton

At the recent Elite Athlete Awards presentations, Rikki Belder was awarded an Elite National and Elite International scholarship from Flinders ONEfitness. She was also listed as an EAFU (Elite Athlete Friendly University) recognised athlete, meaning that Flinders University has made a commitment to support her in combining her sporting and academic endeavours successfully through the ability to negotiate and be provided with flexible study options throughout her time in the program.

Tessa Manning, who competes in CycloCross, was also awarded an Elite National, Elite Local scholarship and a ONEfitness scholarship. This provides her with access to the fitness centre, allowing her to benefit from physical preparation for her gruelling sport, assisting by limiting her travel time and maximising her time to commit to her sport and her study commitments.

Rounding out a strong women’s field is fellow student and EAFU athlete Stacey Riedel who is also a national level CycloCross athlete. Stacey is a member of the Australian U23 women’s team, is the current Australian U23 titleholder and competed at the 2017 UCI World Championships.

The scholarship program run by Flinders ONEfitness provides opportunities for students at Flinders to best juggle their sporting and academic commitments by providing a range of support strategies for these athletes.

They range from funding for sporting activites, assistance from professional healthy and fitness staff to ensure athletes get the most from their training, access to facilities on campus to ensure training times are effectively spent and networking opportunities with other like-minded people.

From left: Rikki Belder – Biomedical Engineering student, Track Sprint Cycling; Tessa Manning – Science (Biodiversity and Conservation) student, Cyclo-cross and Mountain biking; Chelsea Newsome – Nursing (pre-registration) student, Off road Motorcycling.

It’s not only the women who are seeing success on their bikes. The men’s cyclists at Flinders is also pumped with talent.

Michael Denton (Australian Development Team – Mountain Bike), Rohan Wight (Australian Senior Track Team), Cooper Sayers (Junior World Track Championships and SASI athlete), David Fumpson and Thomas Allford (National Road Series) are all matching it on the national and international stages, as well as committing to their future through study at Flinders.

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