Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
December 2004 Issue
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Nathan declares: we're athlete friendly

It's official... the University of Adelaide is elite athlete friendly!

The university was recently announced as one of the tertiary institutions nationwide which will provide support and assistance for our best young sportsmen and women.

Under the the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network scheme, elite athletes will be identified prior to beginning their course at Adelaide and be supported to achieve both academically and in their chosen sport.

The network has the backing of the Australian Institute of Sport, the South Australian Institute of Sport and professional player associations such as the AFL Players' Association and the Australian Cricketers' Association.

Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha said he was delighted the University of Adelaide had been selected for the network.

"We already have a strong history in being flexible and accommodating towards our students who are also excellent athletes," Professor McWha said.

"We are proud that we attract the likes of Amber Halliday, who in addition to becoming a world champion and Olympic finalist rower, has completed a Psychology degree and expects to finish a Media degree soon - all by the age of 24.

"As part of this network, we can build upon this history and be able to offer elite athletes a high-quality education in a flexible and timely manner - for example, we will be able to offer these students leaves of absence to attend major competitions, or the chance to sit exams externally if needed.

"Students who are elite athletes will not be given a free ride; they will still have to do the same work all of our students do - but as an Elite Athlete Friendly university, we try to make the process of doing of that work as uncomplicated and easy as possible."

Nathan's double success

State cricketer and University of Adelaide graduate Nathan Adcock knows the value of combining sport and education.

Nathan began a Law and Commerce double degree in 1997, but a burgeoning first-class cricket career meant it took him a little longer than average to complete the two programs (he graduated with his Law degree last year). He's now a solicitor with local law firm Hunt & Hunt Lawyers, as well as being captain of the Adelaide University first grade side and a current member of the Redbacks State squad.

"It ended up taking seven years to finish but I'm pleased I stuck it out - I was playing a lot of cricket while I was at uni and the uni was generous in letting me fit it all in," he said.

"There are a lot of guys in the sport now who love their cricket but don't plan for what they are going to do when they are aged 35 or 40 and can't play for a living anymore.

"I didn't want to be one of those guys. At times it was hard doing the extra study or assignment after cricket trainings when the other guys would go home and watch TV, but I can definitely say it's been worth it."

Story by Ben Osborne

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Nathan Adcock at the university’s main oval
Photo by Ben Osborne

Nathan Adcock at the university's main oval
Photo by Ben Osborne

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Nathan in action for South Australia in a ING Cup match
Photo courtesy of The Advertiser

Nathan in action for South Australia in a ING Cup match
Photo courtesy of The Advertiser

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