Outstanding in the field
Annie-Rose Maloney and Tom Swallows are both recipients of Melbourne University Sports Scholarships for their success in their respective sporting fields. Annie-Rose has represented Australia playing women’s cricket, while Tom has progressed to national championship standard in volleyball.
Tom Swallows’ auspicious initiation into volleyball happened quite by chance. Relaying the story, he says “It was a sport at my school, and I was tall, so they grabbed me for the team.” Straightforward beginnings for an Essendon High School student have led to significant success on the national stage.
Mr Swallows now plays in the Uni Blues men’s team, a collaborative team combining students from Melbourne University and Monash. Last December the Uni Blues not only reached the Australian Volleyball League’s finals, but were victorious. Citing this as his sporting highlight, he says, “This meant we were the top team in the country”.
Showing that it’s not all fun and games, he recounts that while his friends were celebrating their release from high school, he was hard at work training. “Last year, during schoolies week, I went to the Australian Institute of Sport for training week instead – that was hard.”
As a payoff to years of hard work and sporting prowess, Melbourne University awarded Mr Swallows a Sports Scholarship. Tom says this will help him to further both his sporting and University accomplishments. “It really helps. It will certainly make it easier to balance my study and sport commitments.”
A common thread in the stories of both Mr Swallows and Ms Maloney is their shared appreciation for the bonds created by playing team sports. The teamwork needed to play volleyball and cricket successfully at high levels helps to create lasting relationships off the field.
Annie-Rose Maloney grew up in a small country town outside of Geelong, she says, “it was one of those towns with not a whole lot to do, except play cricket”. So, that’s what she did.
Now playing for the Australian Southern Stars Cricket Side, Ms Maloney has travelled to New Zealand and is preparing to travel to India to compete. Citing cricket as her ticket to travel Ms Maloney says she is excited to be seeing the world through cricket.
The Australian Southern Stars Cricket Side were competing in Christchurch during the earthquake. “Our hotel was right next to the cathedral that was devastated in the centre of Christchurch. We were very lucky not to be there.” Feeling the tremors during their practice, Ms Maloney’s team was evacuated and lodged by Lincoln University in the aftermath of the quake. Fortunately, no one in the team was hurt.
She is busy with both sporting and study competing for her time. Instead of feeling over-stretched by these commitments, she sees each as helping her focus and enjoy the other: “Playing cricket is a really good balance. I can come to Uni and work hard studying, but then my release is going to training”.
As a reprieve to throwing financial pressure into her already busy schedule, Ms Maloney says, “The scholarship gives me some lenience to do both studying and cricket, without having to stress too much.”
Showing its commitment to supporting athletic pursuits in the University community, Melbourne University has awarded 150 sports scholarships this year, a new record. The University is a member of the Australian Sports Commission’s Elite Athlete Friendly Network, and seeks to provide a nurturing environment for both high level competitive sports as well as non-competitive or recreational sports.
More applications than ever before have been received for the 2011 intake, which shows a growing sporting enthusiasm among the current cohort of students.
For more information on Melbourne University Sports Scholarships, go to: