Many of us around the globe have been focused on the recently completed Tokyo Olympics. After a year’s delay, the host city and nation were able to deliver one of the most challenging and inspiring Olympics to date.
You might not be aware, but there were over 250 current student-athletes that attended the Olympics from the Oceania region. These student-athletes represented their country and were able to secure personal bests, experience an international competition (many for the first time), and for a few – they were able to secure a medal in their chosen sport.
Balancing life, work and elite training is challenging enough, but for these 250+ student-athletes, they balance significant study schedules as well.
- Cook Islands Olympian Wes Roberts is studying a Bachelor of IT at Federation University Australia
- Marshall Islands Olympian Colleen Fergeson is about to commence her Masters Degree at Western Illinois University after completing her Bachelor of Sports Management from Lincoln College in the USA.
- Fiji Olympian Taichi Vakasama is studying Medicine at Fiji National University
- There are also a large number of student-athletes that make up the Australian and New Zealand Olympic teams
With the support of their tertiary institution, all student-athletes are able to achieve and progress within their sporting pathway. Universities provide support across various levels of a student-athlete’s career. Most often, the university is able to be flexible with learning schedules and assessments to help the student-athlete compete their studies. Some of the larger universities are able to support their student-athletes with scholarships, access to training facilities, physiotherapy and other medical services.
The International University Sports Federation (FISU) recognises the success of student-athletes with many Olympians from across the world having competed in previous editions of the World University Games. The World University Games is often used as a pathway to the Olympics for many student-athletes. For more information about the World University Games or how your sport (or university) can be more involved in university sport and supporting student-athletes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture: Cook Islands student-athlete Wes Roberts – flag bearer at Tokyo 2020.