Scholarships to support athletes in sport, education and life

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The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) continues to help athletes succeed in sport, education and life, awarding over $100,000 in scholarships to 41 other athletes from 19 sports and 19 institutions of higher education.

Olympians such as Belle Brockhoff (winter Olympian), Ria Thompson (rowing), Henry Hutchinson (rugby sevens) and Flynn Ogilvie (hockey) join Paralympians such as Jamieson Leeson (boccia), Tom Birtwhistle (rowing) and Susan Seipel among this latest class of AIS Education Scholars.

In its second year, the AIS Education Scholarship Program has now awarded a total of over $320,000 in scholarships to 118 athletes across 30 sports and 31 institutions of higher learning. The program is made possible through the generous support of the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation.

John Wylie, former chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, said: “I have been inspired to see how hard athletes work to pursue their sporting dreams, but it doesn’t have to be at the sacrifice of their other ambitions in life. Sport and education are a winning mix.

“It’s great to see more sports and more educational institutions taking the opportunity to join this program. This time we are adding rugby, netball and boccia athletes. We have seasoned Olympians and Paralympians who have competed at the highest level, to emerging athletes who are beginning their athletic and educational journey. This is the wonderful opportunity that Australian sport offers.

Last year’s snowboard cross world champion and three-time Olympian Belle Brockhoff is studying a bachelor of commerce and law degree at Deakin University and says balancing school and sport helps her become a better athlete now, while giving her confidence that she will be ready for life after sport when the time comes.

“The study provided me with different perspectives and insights that enhanced my ability to learn in my sport and enabled me to be a better athlete. The dual degree will also improve my career preparation and my confidence when I leave the sport, Brockhoff said.

Looking ahead to Paris 2024, Olympic rower and bronze medalist from Tokyo Ria Thompson says the AIS scholarship will help her take the first steps in preparing for her post-athletic career as a doctor, while also training for her goal of becoming a two-time Olympian.

“The skills required to be an elite athlete complement my education and will one day be very important to my career in medicine,” Thompson said. “I have always enjoyed studying and training simultaneously and although balancing them has sometimes been difficult, I have learned invaluable time management and organizational skills, as well as the importance of prioritizing and ask for help.”

Boccia player Jamieson Leeson made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last year and is studying a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of New South Wales.

“Studying while being a top athlete increases my motivation for success because it allows me to clear my mind of my sport for a short time. Being a top athlete is not forever and this scholarship will also help me in my career after boccia.

The AIS has prioritized athlete education and created more specialized support for athletes by creating its Elite Athlete Education Network (EAEN) across the country.

AIS Director Matti Clements said: “AIS now has formal links with over 40 universities and 12 TAFEs, giving Australian athletes greater choice and flexibility in their support of the education. We are happy to support athletes who demonstrate a genuine commitment to study and who can use their own experiences to inspire and benefit others, in sport and in the wider community.

AIS Scholarship Recipients

Al Viney: Rowing Australia, Deakin University, Master of Business (Sports Management), VIC

Angus Armstrong: Athletics Australia, University of Western Australia, Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Neuroscience), WA

Aoife Coughlan: Judo Australia, Victoria University, ABHE-exercise science (clinical practice), VIC

Belle Brockhoff: Snow Australia, Deakin University, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws, VIC

Benjamin Manning: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, BA Psychology (Honours), QLD

Bradley Woodward: Swimming Australia, University of Western Sydney, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, NSW

Caelin Winchcombe: Australian Sailing, University of Western Australia, BSc, WA

Chloe Fisher: Australian Sailing, University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, VIC

Claire Colwill: Hockey Australia, University of Queensland, Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours), QLD

Daniel Munk: Water Polo Australia, Sydney University of Technology, Bachelor in Construction Project Management, NSW

Elizabeth Browne: Diving Australia, University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, VIC

Elle Armit: Water Polo Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Graduate Certificate in Education, QLD

Flynn Ogilvie: Hockey Australia, University of South Australia, Medical Sonography, SA

Georgia Sinclair: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Diploma in Health Sciences, QLD

Grace Moloney: Bowls Australia, University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Agricultural Science, SA

Hattie Shand: Hockey Australia, University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science (Animal Science), SA

Henry Hutchison: Rugby Australia, University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Commerce, NSW

Jamieson Leeson: Boccia Australia, University of New South Wales, BA in Economics, NSW

Jasmine Locke: Paddle Australia, University of Wollongong, Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health, NSW

Jay Macdonald: Hockey Australia, University of Canberra, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, ACT

Jessica Ewart-McTigue: Triathlon Australia, Griffith University, Bachelor of Environmental Science, QLD

Jocelyn Bartram: Hockey Australia, Notre Dame, MD

Joseph White: Squash Australia, Deakin University, Bachelor of Exercise Science and Business (Sports Management), VIC

Josh Katz: Judo Australia, University of Canberra, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, VIC

Keesja Gofers: Water Polo Australia, Charles Sturt University, Masters in Education (Secondary), NSW

Matilda Moore: Water Polo Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor of Vision Science, QLD

Matthew Ramsden: Athletics Australia, Deakin University, LL.B., VIC

Nathan Hart: AusCycling, University of South Australia, BA in Outdoor and Environmental Leadership, SA

Peter Bruce: Water Polo Australia, The University of Western Australia, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce, WA

Renee Taylor: Hockey Australia, Curtin University, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Commerce, WA

Ria Thompson: Rowing Australia, University of Queensland, MD, QLD

Saffron Tambyrajah: Australian Taekwondo, University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, VIC

Sarah Hoffman: Australian Sailing, University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Arts/LLB (Honours), NSW

Stephanie Kershaw: Hockey Australia, Curtin University, Bachelor of Primary Education, WA

Susan Seipel: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Psychology (Hon), QLD

Tahli Gill: Australian Winter Olympic Institute, Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor of Education (Primary), QLD

Tamzin Christoffel: Australian Taekwondo, Griffith University, Bachelor of Education, QLD

Tara Sosinski: Triathlon Australia, Griffith University, Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, QLD

Tayla Williams: Netball Australia, University of South Australia, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Science (dual degree), SA

Thomas Birtwhistle: Rowing Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Masters of Education (Secondary), NSW

Yale Steinepreis: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Juris Doctor, QLD

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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