QUT students Jack McLoughlin and Bronte Campbell have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics. The two are part of the eight QUT students and two alumni, who have been supported with their studies through the QUT Elite Athlete Program, and are representing their country in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Medal tally for QUT students: 2.
- Jack McLoughlin - silver medal in 400m freestyle.
- Bronte Campbell - a member of the 4 x 100m gold medal winning freestyle relay team.
Emily Rosemond, Coordinator of QUT Sport and its Elite Athletes Program, said QUT had a strong and diverse athlete representative group and it was great to see the athletes representing Australia and Papua New Guinea on the highest sporting stage.
The QUT students and alumnus representing Australia at the Olympics and Paralympics are:
- Bronwen Knox, alumnus, water polo
- Jack McLoughlin, Bachelor of Engineering, swimming
- Mitch Larkin, Bachelor of Property Economics, swimming
- Matthew Lydement, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, weightlifting
- Henry Frayne, Bachelor of Laws (Honours), athletics
- Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen, Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology, Badminton
- Bronte Campbell, Bachelor of Business, swimming
- Isis Holt, Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), running T35
- Rachael Watson, alumnus, swimming S4
Ryan Maskelyne, who is studying a Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours), will represent Papua New Guinea in swimming.
For Jack McLoughlin, Tokyo will be his second Olympics after competing in Rio in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle and winning gold in the event at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“I have always believed to be at the top of my game I have to have a balanced life and that involves my study,” Jack said.
“I am extremely passionate about both swimming and engineering and being a part of QUT has allowed me to do both at the highest of levels.”
Matthew Lydement took up weightlifting in 2014 after frequent injuries from playing a range of sports including cricket, rugby union and Australia Rules Football. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, focussed on preparing himself for a career in fitness and health for life after his sporting career.
Matthew, who started his course at QUT this year as a mature-aged student, said the support of the Elite Athletes Program had helped him to undertaking university study while preparing for his first Olympics, including support in rescheduling exams around his international competition commitments.
“Coming from working full time to being a student, it's definitely been different,” he said.
“But being mature aged has probably been the best thing for me rather than trying to do it straight from school,” Matthew said.
For Henry Frayne, Tokyo will be his third Olympics, after competing in the long jump in Rio 2016 and Triple Jump in London 2012.
“The Olympics are always at the top of my priority list when it comes to my sporting life. As such I am always grateful to anyone and everyone who supports me in my journey,” Henry said.
“The QUT Elite Athlete Program provides support to me around my studies and also with some financial support for competitions,” Henry said.
Badminton player Wendy Chen will be competing at her second Olympics after representing her country at Rio 2016.
“It was opening my eyes to see competing at the top event in the sporting arena,” Wendy said.
Wendy said being a QUT scholarship recipient was particularly helpful with the cost of her education and with flexibility with her study, such as early class registration.
“I can adjust my training around my uni study loads,” she said.
Isis Holt, who was breaking world records within 12 months of taking up running, will compete in the 100m and 200m running events in the T35 category.
Rachael Watson, who won a gold medal at the Paralympics at Rio, will be competing in the 50m freestyle S4.
Bronwen Knox, who completed a Graduate Diploma in Public Health and a Bachelor Laws (Honours) at QUT, is Australia’s most capped Water Polo player, as already a veteran of three Olympics in 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio.
“My first Olympic experience was nerve racking. It was exciting, it was overwhelming at times, it was hectic,” Bronwen said.
“And now heading, into my fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo, all of those things are still there. The difference between the first and the fourth is I know what to expect. I can harness the things I need to and let go of things that they don't need.”
Ryan Maskelyne moved to Australia from Papua New Guinea where he grew up until he was 14, when he came to Australia for school.
“It's a small island nation in the Pacific so it does get looked over a fair bit. But for me, it's the place that I've always wanted to compete for and it's really an honour,” Ryan said.
“I've managed to balance sport and study at QUT through the Elite Athlete Program, which has allowed me to access classes early as well as study my degree part time.”
Bronte Campbell, who was part of the gold medal winning relay team at the Rio 2016 games and will be competing in her third Olympics, is another elite athlete who was inspired to pursue her sport after watching the 2000 Olympics.
Ms Rosemond, who represented Australia in speed skating at the 2006 Olympic Winter games before switching to track cycling where she won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, understands the challenges of balancing the demands of elite sport with the commitments of study.
“We’ve been very focused on working with our elite athletes to identify their individual challenges and ensure we can provide support wherever possible to give them every opportunity to achieve their best in both sporting and academic arenas,” Ms Rosemond said.
“It’s extremely exciting to see our student athletes achieve Olympic selection for Tokyo, it undoubtedly will inspire the next generation of Olympians, Commonwealth and Professional Player League representatives, many of whom are still developing in their respective sports whilst being supported within QUT’s Elite Athlete Program.”
QUT currently has 234 students on the Elite Athlete Program, 47 of whom are on scholarships.
The Program is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Sport as a member of the Elite Athlete Education Network. Students are supported through flexible enrolment, assessment and exams wherever possible. The university also offers personal and professional development, support services, financial assistance and a bonus point entry scheme for new students and current students wanting to change courses.
Rod Chester, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449, firstname.lastname@example.org
After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, email@example.com