Sixteen QUT students, alumni and staff members are flying the flag for QUT as well as their country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, many of whom belong to the university’s Elite Athlete Program.
Alison Thomson, coordinator of QUT’s Elite Athlete Program, said it was a partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport which began in 2006 to support students throughout their sporting life and assist them to find a career in tandem with and beyond sport.
“QUT has second highest number of elite athletes in Australia after the University of Melbourne and we do a lot to nurture them,” Ms Thomson said.
“As well as sports scholarships of $10,000 and $30,000, we foster industry engagement and opportunities for them.
“What we are finding is that industry is increasingly recognising what elite athletes can bring to them as employees – drive, determination, commitment, mental tough, time management skills and more.
“So not only is there life after sport, there are career paths you can take via sport and we are not just talking about coaching or becoming a commentator.”
Long jump star and law student Henry Frayne trains at the Queensland Academy of Sport and finds that fitting his studies in at QUT in between training sessions keeps his mind fresh.
“I am lucky to have a sports scholarship from QUT which is a great help, as is the Elite Athlete Program and QUT’s online capabilities,” said Henry who has previously won a silver medal at the World Championships and competed at the London (2012) and Rio (2016) Olympic Games.
Sprinter Alex Hartmann, who will compete is the 200m individual and the men’s 4x100m relay, juggles his status as a five-time Australian 200m champion and Olympian (Rio 2016) with a flexible career in tech support with QUT.
“When I applied for my job at QUT I made it really clear that I was super willing but that athletics would always come first and the support I have received has been tremendous. When I need time off to compete, or I need to change my work hours, there is never a problem,” said Alex.
The QUT-connected athletes competing at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are:
- Henry Frayne - Long Jump
- Luke Willian - Triathlon
- Michael Tone – Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
- Mitch Larkin - Swimming
- Daniel Mowen - 4 x 400 relay
- Jack McLoughlin - Swimming
- Bronte Campbell - Swimming
- Cate Campbell - Swimming
- Georgia Sheehan - Diving
- Hsuan-Yu (Wendy) Chen - Badminton
- Thomas Cicchini - Wrestling
- Alex Hartmann – 200m & men’s 4 x 100m relay
- Grant Irvine - Swimming
- Ryan Maskelyne - Swimming (representing Papua New Guinea)
- Connie-Leigh Rixon - Lawn Bowls (representing Malta)
- Nick Beveridge - Para triathlon
QUT is part of a national collaborative group of five major Australian universities that form the ATN (Australian Technology Network of Universities).
Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449, firstname.lastname@example.org
After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, email@example.com