Four elite athletes currently studying at UTAS are inspiring younger students.
Four elite athletes currently studying at UTAS are inspiring younger students who may feel torn between pursuing sporting interests and further education.
All four will compete in cycling, rowing, running and iron man events in national or international competitions this year. And all four are studying in the School of Human Life Sciences.
Long-distance runner Josh Harris has just returned from the World University Cross Country Championships in Poland. Rower Taylor Wilczynski is in the running to represent Australia in the 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Lithuania in July. Cyclist Alex Clements lined up in the National Road Series Mersey Valley Tour in April, and James Hodge will contest the 2012 SunSmart Ironman 70.3 in Busselton, WA, this month.
UTAS School of Human Life Sciences Exercise Science course co-ordinator Dr James Fell agrees with the renowned runner Herb Elliott that the best sports people are well-rounded sports people.
Elliott once told a journalist that what appealed to him about his eccentric athletics coach Percy Cerutty was that he seemed to be more interested in "using your sport to develop you into a better human being, than he did in using your sport to become a world champion".
According to Dr Fell: "That is no more evident than when you look at the elite athletes currently studying at UTAS and managing to maintain a good balance with their sport, social and study commitments," he said.
"They totally dispel the old stereotype of the dumb jock – they're not only good at sport, they're good at everything they do because they know how to manage their time and apply themselves to achieve a goal."
Dr Fell said these four students not only thrived on the psychological benefits of physical activity but they were experts at time management and teamwork, skills that will translate well when they leave UTAS and start their careers.
"There are some advantages though in that they are learning while completing their degree – knowledge they can apply to their own training programs and race strategies, from training and recovery to nutrition and psychology," he said.
"In turn the careers they ultimately go into after getting their degrees will benefit because of their sport.
"They will know how to do interval training, or lift weights, what it's like to feel tired, have to recover, about hitting the wall in terms of energy supplies.
"One day when they're working in an allied health role, alongside a doctor or physio, or doing personal training or club training, or even as a radiographer, their own sporting experience will add to their academic knowledge to help them achieve the best possible results.
"They're also good people, social people, but their priorities lie in their chosen sports and there's no doubt they've had to make sacrifices to get where they are now."
Authorised by the Head of Human Life Sciences
18 May, 2012