Like most university students Cale Hooker and David Myers struggle to juggle work and study commitments.
What sets these two young men apart form your average university student though, is that they are AFL footballers.
Curtin Commerce students Cale and David play football for Essendon and live in Melbourne most of the year. Yet both boys have continued studying their degrees externally with the help of Curtin’s Elite Athlete Program (EAP).
David had just begun studying at Curtin when he was drafted to Essendon and asked to move interstate.
He says the EAP has helped him keep on track with his studies despite the challenges that come with being an AFL footballer.
‘I don’t think people fully realise that football is a full-time job, even more so than a regular 9-5, because we train ourselves to exhaustion every day,’ he says.
‘Sleep and rest are also a priority, recovery is just as important as training, so it’s hard to fit study into all that.’
Cale says finding time to study was difficult when AFL clubs train everyday during off-season, 6 days a week during the football season and fly interstate regularly.
‘Fitting study and exams in while training is hard enough but when you live interstate and are constantly flying, its hard to sit exams at the same time as everyone or hand in assignments at the same time, ‘ he says.
‘Being part of the Elite Athlete Program means we have a little more flexibility in our courses and an understanding of our situation.’
Curtin is a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly Universities alliance with 49 elite athletes currently studying at the University.
Students identified by sporting organisations such as the Australian Institute of Sport, the AFL Players Association, the Rugby Union Players Association and the Australian Cricketers Association are eligible for the program.