Mildura student accepted into La Trobe Elite Athlete Program

Local soccer player and Mildura based university student, Cosimo Cirillo, has been accepted into the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP).

LEAP provides elite athlete students assistance and support to combine their academic and sporting pursuits.  Cosi says his acceptance into the program is a reward for the hard work he has put in during his soccer career.

“I am grateful to be a part of LEAP, it will assist me to pursue my soccer career and complete my degree.  Being Mildura’s first LEAP student is an honour and I hope I can live up to the expectations,” says Cosi.

Cosi first got involved in soccer when he was five years old and has played for this local club, Mildura City, ever since.  His soccer career has seen him travel the world and represent Australia at the International Federation of CP Football (IFCPF) Championships.   CP Football was formed in 2015 as an independent sport under the ‘Cerebral Palsy Sport and Recreation Association’.

“Since being selected in 2016 to travel to Denmark as part of the Australian squad, the Pararoos, I have been on another five tours.  Against Jordan I scored a goal and was part of a second placing at the IFCPF Asian Championships held in Iran,” Cosi says.

Cosi also volunteers in the local soccer community and used this commitment to obtain an early university offer to study Accounting, through La Trobe’s Aspire Program.

“I volunteered to coach in Mallee Sports Assembly's Football For All program. I led the weekly sessions focusing on developing basic skills of the sport and social engagement.   The lower ATAR requirement, through the Aspire Program, alleviated the pressure of Year 12 exams.  I felt honoured that my volunteering efforts were acknowledged by La Trobe.

“I chose to study Accounting because I have always been interested in the financial aspects of a business.  I hope to graduate as a financial accountant and work to benefit an organisation,” says Cosi.

Dr Deb Neal, Head of Campus, says La Trobe recognises the unique needs of student-athletes who participate in sport while studying.

“We are committed to supporting these students, so they can successfully live out their sporting and academic pursuits.  La Trobe is focused on being the Australian University of choice for Sport and LEAP Is just one initiative we are working on, coupled with our industry partnerships and sport related research.

“It’s fantastic to have Cosi involved in the program, it’s especially nice as he’s so committed to his sport to give back to the local community too,” Dr Neal says.

Read more about the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program and Sport at La Trobe.

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