From backyard to Beijing
Economics and International Studies first-year student, Christie Jenkins, is Australia's top-ranking female trampolinist. Hers is one of three stories about elite University of Adelaide athletes featured in this issue of Lumen.
At just 18 and with her sights set on being placed in the top 10 in next year's World Open Championships in Quebec and competing in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Christie could be forgiven for not concentrating too hard on her academic studies and future career.
Not so. "My studies are going well, I'm loving the economics side," she said. "I'm also studying Chinese, which is challenging."
And after her degree?
"I'd love to be a CEO," she said. "And before that, I would like to get into motivational speaking and business consulting. I think the principles in sporting success cross over to business. Things like goal setting and motivation are important for both athletes and business people."
Christie's attitude to her studies and sport at school perhaps provides a key to her determination now.
"A lot of my friends gave up sport in Year 12 to concentrate on their studies. But why? You just have to be more efficient."
Her academic record vouches for Christie's efficiency: she was Academic Dux of her school, Firbank Grammar School in Melbourne, and was awarded perfect scores in Biology and Maths with near perfect scores in English and Psychology.
Christie started trampolining when she was given a backyard trampoline at five.
"My parents arranged for me to have lessons so that I would be safe," she said. "But then I came home and started doing somersaults."
At nine, in the youngest age group for trampolinists, Christie was winning State titles. She's now Open National champion.
She recently won the synchronised trampolining and came third in the individual event at the Indo-Pacific competition in South Africa.
In Adelaide where the South Australian Sports Institute hosts the national trampoline program, Christie's efficiency is being called on full time, with eight sessions of 2-3 hours on the trampoline and another three in the gym every week on top of her studies. She also has a part-time job in a fruit and vegetable shop and coaches at Tea Tree Gully Youth Club once a week.
"I'm looking for some sponsorship," she says. "The part-time work is probably the hardest challenge. Basically I have no free time."
Christie Jenkins is one of more than 40 young University of Adelaide students recognised as an elite athlete.
Story Robyn Mills
To help students like Christie Jenkins to pursue excellence in both their sporting and academic endeavours, the University's EASIS (Elite Athlete Support and Information Service) Scholarship program provides important financial support.
The University invites the corporate sector to sponsor an elite athlete through the EASIS Scholarship program.
For further information regarding an EASIS Corporate Sponsorship proposal, please contact Helen Paul, Manager, Fundraising and Development on 8303 4275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org