Last night, at Homebush Athletics track, was a massive night for Sydney Uni Athletics’ stars – James Nipperess and Lara Tamsett! As they took out first place in the Men’s 5000m and the Women’s 5000m respectively, at the NSW Open Championships.
James finished in an impressive time of 14:04.33. And was ecstatic with the win, seeing as it was the first time he raced in the Opens.
Lara finished with a lead of just over 20 seconds, with her time of 16:18.40.
Both runners hold scholarships with the Sydney Uni Elite Athlete Program. The University of Sydney, through Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness, offers a wide range of sports scholarships.
In 2008, more than 240 students across 35 sports received scholarships. A further 60 students were offered places in the Talented Athlete program for emerging athletes. In addition to the financial assistance, athletes receive access to international travel grants, academic counselling, seminars and tutorials. As well as, access to the facilities including; the Arena Sports Centre, the University Sports & Aquatic Cnetre, HK Ward Gymnasium, Cumberland Campus fitness centre and the Olympic Swimming Pool. James said ‘I love being able to use the gym while I am at uni.’
Scholarship athletes also have access to services such as exercise testing, fitness assessment, strength and conditioning, nutrition and diet planning, counselling services, sports psychology sessions, and remedial massage services. James said that ‘one of the best things about the program has been the access to the Sports Psychologists. I really feel my mental approach to each race has been so much more professional.’
James’ next goal is to qualify for the Australian Team for the Cross Country World Championships. And next season, he hopes to be able to run a B qualifier for the Commonwealth Games.
But for now this 18 year old is ‘…just ecstatic…’ to be a NSW Open Champion!
For more information contact Shari Wakefield, Publications and Communications Co-ordinator at Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness on 9351 8116 or [email protected]