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Hockeyroo Nelson goes for gold

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Occupational therapy graduate Ashleigh Nelson is one of several Curtin students and alumni going for gold at the 19th Commonwealth Games.

The Wagin native will be hoping the national women’s hockey team will be able to defend their gold medal won in Melbourne four years ago.

Ashleigh Nelson at her graduation. Photo Phillips and Father

Nelson, 23, is confident the Hockeyroos can come out on top, after a strong showing in the World Cup held in Argentina in September.

“We’re taking a young team as we’ve had a share of injuries to experienced players, but we’ve had some good results against the teams we’ll be playing against,” she said.

Nelson said the chance to represent Australia and the atmosphere at the athletes’ village meant the Games was still a high priority for the team.

“And as for the safety stuff, there’s been a lot said in the media obviously and we’ve been keeping an eye on it,” she said.

“But we’ve been getting a lot of information from both Indian and Australian organisers, and going by the abundance of information we are confident it will all be ok.

“India is clearly going to do their best to put on a good, safe event, and with the info we’ve been given we’re not too concerned as athletes.”

Nelson praised Curtin’s School of Occupational Therapy for accommodating her training requirements as an elite athlete.

In fact, a one-on-one tutoring session was set up to ensure Nelson would finish her final unit and be able to graduate.

“Speaking to others, Curtin seems like it’s the most flexible and understanding (university) to athletes,” she said.

“The amount of times I’ve had to reschedule stuff like exams or tests, they’ve always been really understanding and accommodating.”

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