Thirteen ACU student athletes have put their studies on hold to compete against the world’s best at the Commonwealth Games as they go for gold on the Gold Coast.
Athletes from 71 Commonwealth countries are competing in 18 different sports and for the first time, seven para-sports, from 4-15 April.
Some of the brightest talent in the Games are ACU student athletes and members of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP). The highly successful Australian Women’s rugby sevens team boasts Occupational Therapy student Emma Tonegato and Exercise and Sports Science student Demi Hayes, both of whom have juggled an intense training load while maintaining a busy tertiary study program.
Georgia-Rose Brown, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science student, is not only flexible in working her study schedule but is also bouncing and flipping her way into history in her second Commonwealth Games for artistic gymnastics.
Further talent includes World University Games gold medallist in decathlon, Exercise and Sport Science student, Kyle Cranston. After displaying his potential last year at the World University Games, Kyle has gone from strength to strength in the gruelling 10-event sport, while proving he still has time to study. Equally talented Exercise and Sports Science student Alysha Burnett will also hold her own at the Games after receiving a silver medal at the World University Games in heptathlon.
ACU’s athletics talent continues with Bachelor of Physiotherapy student Naa Anang showing her future Olympic potential in long jump with Rio Olympics contestant Brandon Starc competing in high jump.
Alexandra Hulley is another up-and-coming athlete on the field gaining a Commonwealth Games place for hammer throw. The young Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student will be standing up and showing the world just what she can bring to the sport.
ACU students are known for making a splash in the pool, with swimmers who are turning heads and making a name for themselves. Highly decorated Paralympic medallist, swimmer and Exercise and Sports Science student Ellie Cole is mentoring Commonwealth Games debutants Bradley Woodward (Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science) and Clyde Lewis (Bachelor of Education) in their first Commonwealth Games.
Other action in the pool includes Bachelor of Paramedicine student, AnnaRose Keating, who is teaming up with former ACU student Anabelle Smith to make a small splash but big impact on the world’s competition in diving.
The excitement of a home Games has the added bonus of not having to travel too far for the Australians to compete.
The EAPP supports student athletes by assisting them to balance the demands of being an athlete or performer while chasing academic and athletic or performing arts pursuits at the highest level. Members of the EAPP have access to academic support, early timetabling and financial support, among other sporting or performing arts related opportunities.
Full ACU team of students
Demi Hayes: Rugby 7s (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science)
Emma Tonegato: Rugby 7s (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy)
Anna Rose Keating: Diving (Bachelor of Paramedicine) Anabelle Smith: Diving (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science) (not currently studying) Georgia-Rose Brown: Artistic Gymnastics (Bachelor of Biomedical Science)
Clyde Lewis: Swimming (Bachelor of Education)
Ellie Cole: Swimming (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science)
Bradley Woodward: Swimming (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science)
Naa Anang: Athletics, Long Jump (Bachelor of Physiotherapy) Alysha Burnett: Athletics, Heptathlon (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science) Kyle Cranston: Athletics, Decathlon (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science)
Alexandra Hulley: Athletics, Hammer throw (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy)
Brandon Starc: Athletics, High Jump (Bachelor of Arts) (not currently studying)