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AIS Scholarships to support athletes in sport, education and life

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The Australian Institute of Sport’s education scholarship welcomes its second class of recipients, including Commonwealth Games Australia alumni and Australian Team Members bound for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) continues supporting athletes to be successful in sport, education and life, awarding more than $100,000 in education scholarships to another 41 athletes from 19 sports and 19 tertiary institutions.

Commonwealth Games Australia alumni such as Flynn Ogilvie (Hockey), Angus Armstrong (Athletics) and Nathan Hart (Cycling) join Olympians such as Belle Brockhoff (Winter Olympian), Ria Thompson (Rowing), Henry Hutchinson (Rugby 7s) and join Paralympians such as Jamieson Leeson (Boccia), Tom Birtwhistle (Rowing) and Susan Seipel (Para-canoe) among this latest class of AIS Education Scholarship holders.

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

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

“It’s fantastic to see more sports and more educational institutions take the opportunity to join this program, this time we’re adding athletes from rugby, netball and boccia. We have seasoned Olympians and Paralympians who have competed at the highest level, through to emerging athletes starting out on their sporting and education journeys. That’s the wonderful opportunity Australian sport provides.”

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Flynn Ogilvie believes the scholarship helps him perform at his best both on the pitch and in his education.

“The AIS education scholarship is beneficial to me because it relieves part of the financial burden of balancing education with high performance sport,” Ogilvie said.

“Education and a career away from hockey is very important to me as it maintains a healthy balance in my life and removes some of the stress about life after sport. I love playing for my country but once it is over, I want to be able to transition comfortably and be able to contribute to my community.

“I am currently studying to become a medical sonographer, an area I am excited to pursue, as it is an important imaging modality that is constantly evolving as technology continues to improve.”

Last year’s Snowboard Cross World Champion and three-time Olympian Belle Brockhoff is studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law at Deakin University and says balancing study and sport helps her to be a better athlete now, while giving her confidence that she will be ready for life after sport when the time comes.

“Study has provided me with different perspectives and ideas that have strengthened my learning abilities in my sport and allowed me to be a better athlete. The double degree will also really improve my occupational readiness and confidence when I transition out of sport,” Brockhoff said.

In the lead up to Paris 2024, Olympic rower and Tokyo bronze medallist Ria Thompson says the AIS Education 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 dual Olympian.

“The skills required to be a high performance athlete complement my studies and will one day be very important to my career in medicine,” Thompson said. “I have always loved studying and training concurrently and while balancing them has been challenging at times, I have learnt invaluable time management and organisational skills and the importance of prioritising and asking for help.”

Boccia player Jamieson Leeson made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last year and is studying a Bachelor of Economics at The University of New South Wales.
“Studying while being a high performance athlete increases my motivation for success as it allows me to clear my mind from my sport for a short period of time. Being a high performance athlete is not forever and this scholarship will also assist me in my career after boccia.”

The AIS has prioritised athlete education and created more specialised athlete support by building its Elite Athlete Education Network (EAEN) across the country.

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

AIS Education Scholarship recipients

  • Al Viney: Rowing Australia, Deakin University, Master of Business (Sports Management), VIC
  • Angus Armstrong: Athletics Australia, The 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 Law, VIC
  • Benjamin Manning: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), QLD
  • Bradley Woodward: Swimming Australia, University of Western Sydney, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, NSW
  • Caelin Winchcombe: Australian Sailing, The University of Western Australia, Diploma in Science, WA
  • Chloe Fisher: Australian Sailing, The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, VIC
  • Claire Colwill: Hockey Australia, The University of Queensland, Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours), QLD
  • Daniel Munk: Water Polo Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Bachelor of Construction Project Management, NSW
  • Elizabeth Browne: Diving Australia, The 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, The University of South Australia, Medical Sonography, SA
  • Georgia Sinclair: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Diploma of Health Science, QLD
  • Grace Moloney: Bowls Australia, The University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, SA
  • Hattie Shand: Hockey Australia, The University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science (Animal Science), SA
  • Henry Hutchison: Rugby Australia, The University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Art, NSW
  • Jamieson Leeson: Boccia Australia, The University of New South Wales, Bachelor of 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, Doctor of Medicine
  • Joseph White: Squash Australia, Deakin University, Bachelor of Exercise Science and Business (sports management), VIC
  • Josh Katz: Judo Australia, La Trobe University, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, VIC
  • Keesja Gofers: Water Polo Australia, Charles Sturt University, Masters of Teaching (Secondary), NSW
  • Matilda Moore: Water Polo Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor of Vision Science, QLD
  • Matthew Ramsden: Athletics Australia, Deakin University, Bachelor of Law, VIC
  • Nathan Hart: AusCycling, The University of South Australia, Bachelor of 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, The University of Queensland, Doctor of Medicine, QLD
  • Saffron Tambyrajah: Australian Taekwondo, The University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, VIC
  • Sarah Hoffman: Australian Sailing, The University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours), NSW
  • Stephanie Kershaw: Hockey Australia, Curtin University, Bachelor of Primary Education, WA
  • Susan Seipel: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Psychology (Hon), QLD
  • Tahli Gill: Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor Degree of Education (Primary), QLD
  • Tamzin Christoffel: Australian Taekwondo, Griffith University, Bachelor of Education, QLD
  • Tara Sosinski: Triathlon Australia, Griffith University, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, QLD
  • Tayla Williams: Netball Australia, The University of South Australia, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Science (Double Degree), SA
  • Thomas Birtwhistle: Rowing Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Masters of Teaching (Secondary), NSW
  • Yale Steinepreis: Paddle Australia, Griffith University, Juris Doctor, QLD

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