Elite athletes combine sport with study 

Elite athletes, ten-pin bowler Robert Kennedy, sprinter Narelle Long, hockey player Simone Liddy and footballer Tom Frawley, show their enthusiasm for the new partnership at CDU. Picture: Barry Ledwidge

Combining sport with study has just become a little easier for the elite athletes of the Northern Territory Institute of Sport.

The institute has signed a partnership agreement with Charles Darwin University that will see athletes given special dispensations when their sporting commitments interfere with study.

‘It was a bit of a struggle last year when exams and assignments coincided with sports carnivals,’ says hockey player Simone Liddy, who is in the third year of her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

‘Now we’ll be able to get extensions on our assignments and reschedule our exams whenever they conflict with our sporting commitments.’

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett said a relationship had existed for some time with elite athletes, who had been encouraged to continue their academic studies while undertaking their sports program at NTIS.

Now the relationship was being officially recognised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

‘The MOU means the athletes can undertake their studies with the full understanding that they will have advisers to talk whenever it is likely their studies will interrupt their sport,’ Professor Garnett said.

‘We aim to encourage elite athletes to progress both their sporting and academic careers.’

Among the elite athletes to attend the signing ceremony was ten-pin bowler Robert Kennedy, who is in the third year of his Information Technology degree, sprinter Narelle Long, who begins her sports science degree this year and footballer Tom Frawley, who is studying Certificate III in sport while still in Year 11 at high school.