“My sport is extremely expensive and self-funded, so the Sports Hawke’s Bay and EIT Sports Scholarship allow me to keep representing New Zealand while completing my degree,” says canoe polo player and Bachelor of Nursing student Sian Fendall.
Sian was awarded one of five sport scholarships, alongside Portia Wright (equestrian) who studies a Certificate in Animal Technology, Zac Madsen (football, Napier City Rovers) enrolled in a Bachelor of Business Studies, Bachelor of Viticulture & Wine student Alena Kamper (swimmer) and Andrew James Bowden (canoe polo), who studies towards a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary).
The scholarships have been developed to assist top sports performers to train and study in Hawke’s Bay. This year’s recipients agree on the fact that moving away from Hawke’s Bay would have meant giving up on their sport. “On top of this, the scholarship helped me to promote myself with Sport Hawke’s Bay and EIT, which is useful for my future aspirations in sports management,” adds Zac.
There is no doubt that coordinating studies, work, travelling to competitions and training is tough, however the scholarships take some weight off the students’ shoulders. “Thanks to the scholarship I’m able to do a few less hours working and focus more on my studies,” says Portia.
In addition to the financial help, the students benefit from their lecturers being understanding of their sporting commitments. “EIT’s extensive range of support has allowed me to easily adjust my swimming career into full-time study,” says Alena.
“Juggling full-time study, sport and work is an on-going struggle and I just take it week by week,” admits Sian. However, as Andrew James puts it, training helps to refresh and clear the head “when it’s going to explode.”
“The scholarship is going to help me a lot to keep my dream of being a primary school teacher in the future while going further with my sport,” says Andrew James.
For Alena the scholarship is one of those opportunities in life you wouldn’t want to miss.