The former Bendigo student juggled her University degree while competing at the elite level in two different sports with support from the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program.
Following a decorated resume in basketball which includes two FIBA Oceania Under-18 championship gold medals and a WNBL career spanning across a decade and three teams, Harrington was recruited to the Carlton Football Club in the AFLW from VFLW team Diamond Creek.
The 26-year-old made a seamless transition into Australian rules football, featuring in every game for the Blues after making her debut in round 1 of the 2018 season.
While Harrington admits that balancing her sport and studies presented unique challenges, she believes the support from La Trobe University and the proximity from home to Bendigo’s regional campus made her dream achievable.
“Once I found out that they could support me throughout my degree it was an easy decision to make,” said Harrington. “La Trobe University is renowned for producing great physiotherapists.”
“LEAP does a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure athletes are able to just focus on their sport and study.”
“When I first finished school I was reluctant to use the support networks available. I’d urge any athletes completing studies to speak to the La Trobe staff, they’re there to give you the best advice to make it through your degree.”
Harrington’s network at La Trobe provided further benefit in the fourth year of her degree when she sought to undertake work experience in a specialised area of clinical practice.
Through La Trobe’s industry partnership with the Carlton Football Club, Harrington secured a placement position with the club’s exercise science team.
“The internship was perfect because it enabled me to balance playing, studying and placement at the Northern Hospital during my last semester,” Harrington said.
“At the end of my degree I was offered a role as a physiotherapist at the club. I’m splitting my time between Ikon Park and Alphington Sports Medical which provides me experience in a clinical and high performance environment.”
“Once I’ve settled into my career I’d love to explore going back to University and getting my masters.”
La Trobe University is a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network (EAFU). The EAFU recongises the unique needs of students who participate and compete in sport at an elite level.