For most university students, the rigors of daily study can become more than stressful. But when you’re a student juggling those studies with exhausting sporting commitments, the pressure is elevated.
This was the situation Anna Kelly found herself in. The physiotherapy student and cross country runner was living over one hour away from Melbourne, requiring frequent commute for her studies and training. This was until she received La Trobe’s Elite Athlete Housing Scholarship (EAHS).
The scholarship, established in conjunction with La Trobe Accommodation Services, is open to new students at La Trobe who are eligible for the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP).
To be considered for the scholarship, athletes must demonstrate considerable hardship and/or circumstances that would prevent them from undertaking tertiary study and continuing elite level sport.
As a part of LEAP, student athletes are offered a number of benefits from flexible academic arrangements, funding for state competitions, elite athlete apparel and more.
Since receiving the scholarship Anna has moved into an apartment at Barnes Way, allowing her to spend less time travelling and more time focusing on her sport and study.
“It really takes a load off not having to travel home every day and everyone at the Bundoora campus is super helpful and friendly,” Anna said.
Anna recently competed in the Senior Women’s Race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Uganda, where she was the first Australian to cross the line with a time of 35:21, finishing 31st overall.
LEAP has seen considerable growth in recent years with over 100 elite athletes taking part in the program. Sport Development Manager Renee Frizzell believes the program has only grown stronger since its inception.
“The program was overhauled in 2015,” Renee said. “So in the past two years, it’s really grown with the amount of support we’ve been able to provide the athletes.”
Anna will soon return from Uganda and begin preparations for the World University Games later this year with her new home at Barnes Way allowing her more time to focus on her sporting and academic commitments.
“The EAHS will help me achieve my academic and sporting goals throughout 2017.”