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Master of Commerce student qualifies for London Olympics 2012

04 Nov 2011

Master of Commerce student and soon to be Olympian, Edward Fernon, is unstoppable. The gruelling training leading up to the 2012 London Olympic Games is strenuous enough for most athletes to bear in one discipline yet Edward has to complete five times the training in preparation for the Modern Pentathlon. He's doing all this alongside studying for a Master of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney Business School.

Fernon has become the first University of Sydney Business School and Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness scholarship holder to qualify for the 2012 Games. Edward qualified as the highest ranked athlete from Oceania in the historical sport of Modern Pentathlon which was invented by the founder of the Modern Olympics and is immensely popular throughout Europe.

Training seven days a week for the arduous event, Fernon must master fencing, freestyle swimming, showjumping, cross-country running and pistol shooting. He trains for each sport individually, spending significant time preparing and competing in Europe and the United States. Arriving at the University of Sydney, he had a strong background in running and horse riding, and while living at St John's College he became a member of the Elite Athlete Program and acquired the skills of fencing, shooting and swimming.

This extraordinary journey, which has taken him to the Olympics in just five years, feels too good to be true said Fernon. "I was looking for a challenge and I took the Modern Pentathlon up on a whim. I gave it a try, fell in love with it and set my sights on qualifying for London 2012. It will no doubt be an amazing experience."

Fernon's drive for success in sport is paralleled by his passion for Business. Having studied at the University of Sydney Business School for five years, he has completed a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently undertaking a Master of Commerce major in Entrepreneurship with aspirations to own his own business. He said: "My undergraduate education has given me extensive knowledge on the intricacies of finance and economics but now in my Masters degree I'm developing understanding and skills with practical applications to the world of business. Throughout my studies the Business School has been extremely supportive, I couldn't have done what I've done anywhere else and I'm very appreciative of that."

As he moves from strength to strength in the sporting arena, Edward's convinced that the balance between study and sport comes down to organisation and avoiding procrastination in the face of numerous pressures. "When I'm really focused on sport, it's fantastic to know that I have something behind me, keeping me mentally active, a different stimulation that provides me prospects beyond sport," he said. "Qualifying for the Olympics is an amazing feeling, it has given me a real sense of satisfaction that the hard work has paid off. People can really surprise themselves when they put their mind to something."