Victorian Institute of Sport and Open Universities Australia continue partnership

The Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) is pleased to announce the renewed partnership with Open Universities Australia (OUA).

The one-year extension of the partnership will provide athletes with great opportunities to further their education online. OUA scholarships and textbook support are now available to VIS athletes enrolling in higher education subjects, courses and qualifications from 20 leading universities across Australia. 

VIS Performance Lifestyle Manager Leesa Gallard is thrilled with the continued collaboration with OUA and the opportunities it creates for VIS athletes. “The partnership contributes to our Performance Lifestyle Advisers working directly with VIS athletes to support them as they strive for success in sport and life,” Gallard said. 

“The scholarship available to athletes to study with OUA is a great opportunity for athletes to build their educational pathway towards a University qualification,” she said. “They can undertake a single unit of study to contribute to their career readiness or career progression”. 

VIS sailor Oliver Tweddell is one of the athletes who have already benefited from the VIS partnership with OUA. The Finn class sailor completed a Bachelor of Business and Finance at RMIT via OUA concurrently with his sailing commitments. 

The former World number 1 and World Cup medallist graduated in 2019 and received the OUA/VIS scholarship a few times along this journey. “OUA made it possible for me to complete my degree alongside the commitments I had with training and my competition schedule, which meant I was overseas for many months of the year”. 

“I wouldn’t have been able to attain my degree without OUA and was extremely fortunate that through their partnership with the VIS I was able to get some units paid via a scholarship,” Tweddell said and continued “I would recommend any athlete look into this option if they are keen to further their professional development while still campaigning." 

Image: Oli Tweddell on the water for Australia

OUA’s online studies was a great fit for Tweddell as they don’t require mandatory lectures and he could study at his own pace. “OUA also had extremely helpful advisors that assisted with planning out my study schedule, so I could complete my degree as early as possible,” Tweddell said. 

At the VIS, helping athletes to succeed in sport and life is a top priority and encouraging athletes to prepare for their transition out of sport through study is one of the ways we ensure athletes stay on-track. 

We see how study transforms our athletes, helping them to establish a dual career to have options for their future, whilst also helping them to bring focus and a balanced outlook to their sport. 

Study is an integral part to being able to create balance in elite athlete lives and helps to build confidence and a sense of purpose and identity in other areas of life. This is why we are so thrilled to have these higher education opportunities through OUA available to our athletes. 

OUA have also secured the naming rights for the Performance Lifestyle Award, which will be named the Open Universities Australia Performance Lifestyle Award. Former winners of this prestigious award celebrating athletes who demonstrate success in sport and life, include the likes of Renae Ingles, Jacinta Carrol, Melissa ‘Milly’ Tapper and Mitch Gourley as the 2019 winner. 

OUA is an online platform that allows students to explore hundreds of degrees and thousands of subjects from a range of leading Australian universities. They are a part of the Elite Athlete University Network to help athletes learn and equip themselves with skills and qualifications for further careers beyond your sport. 

Because all courses are fully online, athletes have the flexibility to study at a pace that aligns with the commitments in their life, when and where it suits them.

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