This scholarship provides support to two LEAP students - who experience difficulty balancing their study and sporting pursuits - through the provision of on-campus accommodation in one of La Trobe’s residences.
Kyah English, a former Australian Junior Taekwondo Champion and first year Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Dietetic Practice student was one of the 2018 scholarship recipients.
Kyah and her family were relieved to hear the news after her study and training were affected following a move away from Melbourne last year.
“It’s been a huge help, I’m able to stay on campus and get all my study done before training later on in the day,” she said.
“I think my mum was more excited than I was! I was stoked I really didn’t think I was going to get it.
“It was such a relief because my family and I knew I had to move back to the city but it would have been a huge financial struggle.”
In her sport, Kyah is building a foundation of skill and knowledge after competing on the European circuit in three different competitions throughout March.
The highpoint for Kyah was her Quarter Final performance at the Bulgarian Open, where she came within a point of defeating a former world champion.
“I’m super proud of my performance, said Kyah. I was only one point away from getting a medal and being on the podium so it was definitely bitter sweet!
“It gave me confidence and I now know I have the skills to be able to go far in the sport.”
Being away from the University for Taekwondo has made it difficult for Kyah get back in the rhythm of study, but she said the different support provided the Elite Athlete Program has made it a lot easier.
“I travel a lot for Taekwondo and this trip was definitely my favourite. The first week back at University I got really overwhelmed as I had missed a lot, but I was able to manage as I had organised myself before I left with the help of LEAP and the Dietetic Coordinator,” she said.
Kyah said the LEAP program was pivotal in her to decision to study at La Trobe and suggested the program to any elite athletes who want to study in the future.
“I think LEAP is the most accommodating and athlete focused out of all the other University’s in Melbourne, they now have the funding to be able to support its members even further and play a big role in their sporting journey and achievements,” she said.