Scholarships supporting athletes in sport, education and life
Thirty-seven athletes from 19 sports and 21 tertiary institutions have been awarded more than $100,000 in AIS Education Scholarships, a program supporting athletes to be successful in sport, education and life.
Volleyroos Caitlin Bettenay and Jana Milutinovic among the athletes receiving this round of AIS Education Scholarships. A key feature of this year’s expanded program is supporting athletes with education earlier in their high performance sporting careers. More than three-quarters of athletes awarded scholarships in this round are categorised as ‘Developing’ or ‘Emerging’, the first two steps on an Australian athlete’s journey to becoming an international medallist.
The AIS Education Scholarship program is doubling from last year’s inaugural program and offering a total $200,000 in scholarships for 2021-22, thanks to support from the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation. A second round will open in March 2022.
Mr Wylie, former Chair of the Australian Sports Commission, said “sport and education is a winning mix. Every athlete goes into competition with a game-plan, this program with the AIS is about helping more Australian athletes to pursue education as part of their broader life plan. Every athlete receiving one of these grants has talents beyond the sporting arena, you just have to look at the breadth of education courses they’re undertaking. There’s health education like paramedics, speech pathology, sonography and medicine, though to diverse areas such as science, commerce, design, engineering and so much more.
“Our message to athletes is sporting success doesn’t have to be at the sacrifice of other ambitions, especially education and career pathways. If we can encourage more athletes to engage with education at the start of their sporting careers, we’ll no doubt have more successful leaders emerging from sport and into their communities.”
Bettenay is extremely grateful to have been selected by the AIS as a recipient.
“The AIS Education Scholarship is important to me as it enables my sporting and academic careers to align. It releases some of the financial burden that comes with a degree, and showcases the support that the AIS provides to athletes wanting to study, whilst competing at the highest levels,” Bettenay said.
“I believe that this scholarship will help to inspire the next generation coming through, that it is possible to pursue both an academic and sporting career, and that with effective time management skills, appropriate communication, and hard work and dedication, these can complement each other,” she said.
The AIS has prioritised athlete education and created more specialised athlete support by building its Elite Athlete Education Network (EAEN) across the country.
AIS CEO Peter Conde 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. Our priority is to support those 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.”