- Champion cyclist and teacher education student thanks Charles Sturt University for its Elite Athlete program and academic support
A world champion cyclist and Olympic medallist at Charles Sturt University announced her retirement from competition today and thanked the University for its support as she juggled study and elite competition.
Ms Kaarle McCulloch (pictured) is a Track Sprint Cyclist who is a four-time world champion, 15-times national champion and won a Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Ms McCulloch said Charles Sturt was extremely positive and helpful when she first approached the University about enrolling and she can’t speak highly enough of its Elite Athlete Program.
“There have been times when I have had to apply at the last minute for a few assignment extensions due to travel and race commitments, and the University has been nothing but accommodating and has helped me to balance study, training and life and get help when I required it,” she said.
“When I came to Charles Sturt University, I was unsure whether I wanted to finish my degree and how I would go about it, particularly after not studying for three years.
“The University helped me ease back into it, developed a study plan for me which has given me a real-time schedule on when I can see myself actually graduating and also recognised that my training and racing is my first priority.”
Ms McCulloch said the most important thing for her is recognising that her ‘athlete life span’ is relatively short compared to the rest of her working life.
“The University also recognises this and has helped me to balance study and training in a way that still sees my cycling come first while keeping up-to-date and in touch with my study goals,” she said.
“As an athlete, sometimes I find myself in situations where schedules change, or I have to travel somewhere at the last minute, and all of a sudden a uni exam needs to be changed or I need to do an exam in another country.
“The Elite Athlete program instantly understood my situation as well as providing support when I am struggling, such as tuition assistance, which has helped me to achieve my on- and off-bike goals.”
Ms McCulloch said she has learned that it’s important to find the right balance between training, competing, studying and enjoying life.
“I found that I didn’t have much balance in my life, and there are times when balancing everything can be hard,” she said.
“That’s when I leaned on my Charles Sturt Elite Athlete advisor and any other support services that are available.
“I think people feel that they have to do everything on their own, but actually there are many people who are willing to help if you ask.”
Being a successful elite athlete has opened many doors for Ms McCulloch, and she is now a keen public speaker.
“University helped develop those skills early on, and I also feel that the degree I am studying has helped my athletic training, as I am doing a human movement course, so I am able to apply skills that I have learnt while studying,” she said.