University Sports, Scholarships and Funding
Wanna get paid to play sport while you study? Most unis have some sort of scholarship program for elite athletes. While UNSW reckons it was the first uni in Australia to offer sports scholarships, they’re also available at Sydney Uni, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of New England (UNE), University of Western Sydney (UWS) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU).
These unis also have facilities and lunchtime sports.
Plus, Uni Games is great fun for sports lovers at uni, pitting different unis from across the country against each other (and also having a bit of a party too!).
The Australian Sports Commission is always on the look out for the country’s next sporting hero, operating “Talent Assessment Centres” at unis all over Australia, from Melbourne to Newcastle to Griffith. Find out more at the ASC site.
In terms of getting funding and sponsorship, the Australian Sports Foundation is designed to help with the funding of sports. They have information on who is eligible, how to register a project, and also a definition of sport!
Current scholarships OPEN NOW
UNSW: Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarships
Macquarie Uni: Sports Scholarships
Applications for most uni sport scholarships close early 2010, so check out their websites for application form and eligibility criteria.
Check for scholarships at Australia's top institutions
PROFILE SPOTLIGHT: Amy Brown
Amy Brown is an Australian distance runner who is in her third year living, training, competing, and studying at San Diego State University in California, USA, on a part scholarship. She’s just started the fall semester, and has given Sportsgirls the lowdown on her scholarship.
I’d never gone to San Diego before. When I got here I met everybody on my team- the San Diego State University Track Team. There are 18 distance girls. And then on the whole team, including the sprinters and jumpers there’s 45 girls.
We’re called student athletes. They’re really big on your academic ability, even though you’re an athlete. You need to get a B average or you can’t compete. I do 20 in class hours a week. I try to plot out my time so I know when I can study, when I can train, when I can eat, when I can rest.
We have an Athletes Department, a section just for athletes that no one else from the university can use. There’s computer labs, study hall areas, our coaches’ offices, our locker rooms and a gym only the athletes can use. We do all our schoolwork here, and all our training.
The training, the competitions
I had an operation on my ankle and I had a stress fracture so that set me back. But last semester was my first proper season and it went really well. I won the 1500m and 800m.
We train in the mornings and afternoons. It’s group based but we have individual times our coach sets that we have to hit. So everyone does the same thing but at different levels.
There’s a different level of competition at every meet (athletic carnival). So sometimes I’m in the top three and other ones I come tenth. If a meet is in San Diego everyone gets to go. If we qualify we get to be on a travelling team and fly out and compete on the weekends. I’ve been all over America. I went to Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico.
The biggest meet we’ve done was called the Mountain West Conference, and it had six states in it. The girls are close to Olympian status. It’s really full on. I didn’t get anything but it was so exciting to be a part of it. There were 30 girls in my race I came 9th. I was annoyed that I just missed out on being in top eight!
My goal is to qualify for the Regional Championships. I’m three seconds away. A huge part of America is in that and only the best of the best qualify.
I’ve also made friends who I have class with who aren’t in running, which I really like. My coach has been wonderful. For the past two years, she’s been like a mother- I call her my American mum!
People just have to be prepared that it’s going to be hard. The hardest part is not being close to my family, especially with the surgery because I did that all on my own. I have to do my own washing, cleaning and cooking- now I’m just used to it. It’s hard work trying to balance everything. You get stressed out a lot and there’s always pressure to do well at school and do well at running. It’s tiring but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Tags:university; scholarships; funding; nsw; university of san diego; amy brown; athletics
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