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Australian Sailing Squad members among AIS Education Scholarship recipients

by Australian Sailing Team 14 Nov 2020 23:16 PST
Jaime Ryan (R) with Tess Lloyd at the 2020 49erFX World Championships in Geelong © Sailing Energy

Two young members of the Australian Sailing Squad are among 40 athletes who will receive funding as part of a pilot AIS Education Scholarship program, an initiative designed to ease the financial burden on athletes who are undergoing education to prepare for life beyond sport.

Jaime Ryan (49erFX) and Jim Colley (49er) will benefit from the scholarships, which will recognise current Australian High Performance athletes who are committing themselves beyond their training and competitions, pursuing further self and professional development in preparation for a career after their sporting pursuits.

"I am really grateful to have the ongoing support of the AIS," said Ryan at the announcement.

"This gives me the opportunity to balance my education with my ongoing training and competition requirements and will really help my transition to life beyond sailing when that time comes."

The 2016 Rio Olympian and 2020 Tokyo selection will use that support to continue her Masters of Environment, which she is currently studying at Griffith University.

"For years I have been fortunate enough to travel the world doing what I love and competing on some of the most beautiful bodies of water. I now look forward to using my education to help ensuring there are clean waters for future generations to compete on."

Colley, who finished tenth at this year's 49er Oceania Championships with partner Shaun Connor, is interweaving the benefits of his study with his fledgling sailing career.

"I am studying Mechanical Engineering at UNSW, and there is a huge crossover between the technical side of engineering and what I am doing out sailing every day," said Colley.

"The skills I am learning at university like problem solving, people management, teamwork, time management and decision making are all really similar to the ones I need to excel in sailing."

The pilot scholarship was established in 2020 after the AIS received a generous one-off private donation to support athletes pursuing academic goals. AIS Director People Development and Wellbeing Matti Clements said the combination of sport and study was a winning mix.

"Pursuing a passion away from sport can help provide athletes with a more well-rounded perspective, and ensure that they have more balance in their lives," said Clements.

"It is common for athletes to struggle to adapt once their sporting career comes to an end however we find that athletes who undertake some form of study are better prepared for the transition.

"This AIS has a strong focus on helping athletes thrive in all areas of their lives, and this scholarship is one of many programs we offer to help athletes achieve all their goals, both on and off the field."

See a full list of scholarship recipients here.

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