Champion athlete Elliarna Mitchell will have more time to focus on her study and training thanks to a prestigious scholarship from James Cook University.
Ms Mitchell, the 400m Oceania under 18 champion, is the recipient of a JCU Elite Athlete Scholarship, which awards up to $30,000 in financial support to elite athletes from northern Queensland.
Ms Mitchell said she is grateful to receive the scholarship, which will help her continue with her training while at university.
“Without the support of this scholarship I’d have to find a part time job, which would have meant more pressure juggling my athletics training and study,” she said.
“The support will also assist with my travels to Brisbane and other cities to participate in training clinics and attend state and national competitions.”
Provost Professor Chris Cocklin said the JCU Elite Athlete Scholarship is about JCU making an investment in local people by supporting elite athletes from our region.
“The scholarship is about retaining talent in northern Queensland,” he said. “We’re providing financial assistance to help elite athletes from our region to complete a university education while allowing them to continue pursuing their sporting opportunities.
“We are very pleased to welcome Elliarna to the JCU community and to assist with her academic and sporting future.”
Ms Mitchell is studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, after being inspired by the physiotherapists at athletics competitions.
“I believe it is a very rewarding profession and I will enjoy helping people to maintain a healthy lifestyle and return to their peak physical condition,” she said.
“Growing up in the rural town of Bowen, I appreciate JCU’s focus on rural and remote communities and their promotion of these regions as potential locations for new graduates.”
Now into her third week of study, Ms Mitchell said she is excited for the year ahead.
“I have already felt very welcomed by the JCU community and look forward to combining a busy year of study towards an exciting new career and my athletic aspirations,” she said.