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New five-year commitment to elite sports

16 Dec 2010

One of the reasons The University of Sydney boasts more than 300 Australian sporting representatives, including 110 Olympians and 90 Australian Rugby Union 'Wallabies', is the excellent support athletes receive through the sports scholarship program.

This support was given a substantial boost this week with the announcement of a new five-year arrangement between the University of Sydney Business School and Sydney University Sport and Fitness to support scholarships for outstanding academic and sporting achievement.

The Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, Professor Peter Wolnizer, and the Executive Director of Sydney University Sport and Fitness, Mr Robert Smithies, signed the joint agreement ensuring 10 postgraduate and four undergraduate scholarships per year for the next five years.

The scholarships are valued between $5000-$10,000 per annum, and are awarded annually to talented athletes based on academic merit and sporting achievement. All recipients must be undertaking either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree with the Business School.

Current scholarship recipients include Wallabies representatives: Berrick Barnes, Dean Mumm and Luke Burgess, as well as former Olympic silver-medallist and current Sydney Uni Flames (Women's basketball) player, Natalie Porter.

Former recipients of the scholarship include Wallaby flanker Phil Waugh, Australian Cricket fast bowler Stuart Clark and Olympic rowers Liz Kell and Sally Kehoe.

Professor Wolnizer said the Business School has spent a lot of time working with Sydney University Sport to create an environment which allows committed elite athletes to prosper on and off the field.

"For a long time, we've been of the belief that high level study is a natural fit with elite sportsmanship," he said.

Rob Smithies said sport has been a component of the student experience at the University of Sydney for over a century.

"One of the reasons our elite sports program has grown so significantly in the past 10 years is due to the support of Peter Wolnizer and the Business School," he said. 

In addition to generous financial assistance, athletes within the Elite Athlete Program receive access to international travel grants, academic tutoring and counselling, personal development seminars, specialised exercise and nutrition programs and access to first-class fitness facilities.