Up-and-coming Australian sailors Caelin Winchcombe (WA), Chloe Fisher (VIC) and Sarah Hoffman (NSW) have each been awarded an AIS scholarship to assist with balancing their high-performance training and education needs.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) supports athletes to be successful in sport, education and life, awarding more than $100,000 in education scholarships to 41 athletes from 19 sports and 19 tertiary institutions in 2022.
In its second year, the AIS Education Scholarship program has now awarded a total of more than $320,000 in scholarships to 118 athletes across 30 sports and 31 tertiary institutions.
A member of the Australian Sailing Squad, Caelin Winchcombe is studying a Diploma in Science at the University of Western Australia and feels privileged to be associated with the AIS. He plans to utilise the scholarship to attend the iQFOiL World Championships in France later this year.
“Australia has a rich sporting history and I think the AIS is the centre point of that, so to be a part of it through this scholarship is pretty meaningful to me,” said Winchcombe.
“I’ll use the scholarship to fund flights and equipment for upcoming competitions, and then anything that is surplus I’ll use for training blocks in Australia.”
Currently competing in the 49er FX class, Chloe Fisher is a member of the Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) program and plans to utilise the scholarship to help her balance study, training and competition.
“Education at a tertiary level has always been a goal of mine alongside my sporting aspirations in the sport of sailing,” said Fisher.
“Studying chemical engineering alongside my sailing commitments can be a handful at times so I am so thankful in receiving the support to succeed in both my sporting and academic pathways.”
Another member of the ASF program, Sarah Hoffman competes in the Nacra 17 class, and will also utilise the scholarships to work towards the best results possible across all areas of her life.
The program is possible thanks to the generous support of the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation.
John Wylie, former Chair of the Australian Sports Commission, said: “I’ve been inspired to see how hard athletes work to chase their sporting dreams, but it doesn’t need to be at the sacrifice of their other ambitions in life. Sport and education is a winning mix.
“It’s fantastic to see more sports and more educational institutions take the opportunity to join this program… We have seasoned Olympians and Paralympians who have competed at the highest level, through to emerging athletes starting out on their sporting and education journeys. That’s the wonderful opportunity Australian sport provides.”
The AIS has prioritised athlete education and created more specialised athlete support by building its Elite Athlete Education Network (EAEN) across the country.
AIS Director Matti Clements said: “The AIS now has formal links with more than 40 universities and 12 TAFEs, giving Australian athletes greater choice and flexibility with their education support. We are pleased to support athletes who demonstrate a genuine commitment to study and can use their own experiences to inspire and benefit others, in sport and the broader community.”
Click here to see a full list of AIS Education Scholarship recipients.