By Clark McCatty.
I’ve always loved sport and I knew while I was still at high school that I wanted to build a career out of that passion.
But living in a country area, and with big dreams of playing AFL at a higher level, accessing the flexible tertiary study I needed was always going to be a challenge.
That’s where CQUni came in. Through their Start Uni Now (SUN) program, I got a head-start on my uni studies and finished an undergrad unit in Physical Activity, Fitness and Health while still at school – with a distinction.
I’m excited to see the establishment of the Murray River Study Hub, because it means that others like me who want to pursue their chosen career will have the chance to study, but don’t have to leave home to achieve that goal.
CQUni’s SUN program gave me valuable first-hand experience in what was expected of students at a university level – and it opened the door for my advance enrolment in a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Sciences at CQUni.
CQUni’s distance education option meant I could stay in Waikerie after school and study while I worked in a job I loved at the Waikerie Community Sports Centre.
The flexibility also meant that when I landed the opportunity to play with the Sturt Football Club in the SANFL and had to relocate to Adelaide, I could take my studies with me.
Those studies, and my experience on the job in Waikerie, opened the door for me to work at a major sport and recreation facility in Adelaide.
In December 2018 I landed a new role – back where it all began in my home town. I’m now the manager at the Waikerie Community Sport Centre and living my dream to work in the sports industry, while being able to enjoy everything I love about living in the Riverland.
With the Murray River Study Hub and the flexible options provided by CQUni, many more young people in the Murraylands and Riverland can now fast-track their uni studies by starting while they’re still at school – and they can take those studies further without having to leave home.
This will have huge benefits for our region by giving young people access to higher education, with support, in their own backyard.
I can’t wait to see other young people taking up this opportunity and choosing to build their own dream careers right here in our region.