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2017 Eldon and Anne Foote Elite Athlete Scholarship Recipients

In its third year, the Eldon & Anne Foote Elite Athlete Scholarship was awarded to five prominent athletes undertaking studies at the University of Canberra.

The 2017 recipients were:

Lauren Wells

Lauren Wells is an Australian athletics competitor (400 metre hurdles and 400 metres long jump) and proud Canberra local. She is currently in her second year of a Bachelor of Primary Education. She graduated from the University of Canberra previously with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree and is excited to apply her knowledge from both degrees in her future teaching profession.

Lauren’s key athletic achievements to date include:

  • 2x Olympic Games (2012, 400m hurdles, 23rd ; 2016, 400m hurdles, 21st)
  • 3x World Championships (2011, 400m hurdles, 21st; 2013, 400m hurdles, 14th; 2015, 400m hurdles, 14th)
  • 3x Commonwealth Games (2006, 400m hurdles, 9th; 2010, 400m hurdles, 4th; 2014, 400m hurdles, 4th)
  • 10x Australian 400m Hurdle Champion (Open age)
  • World Junior Championships (2006, 400m hurdles, 12th)
  • World Youth Championships (2005, 400m hurdles, Silver)

Lauren is currently balancing a full-time study load at UC and her full-time training load with working as a Learning Support Assistant at Giralang Primary School. She works with children who have special needs and loves seeing what a ‘real’ classroom looks like every day. Lauren trains six days a week, has one massage, one physio and two Pilates sessions per week - she loves to pack a lot into each week but it doesn’t allow for a lot of recovery time, which is imperative to her athletic performance.

Lauren was able to compete interstate and overseas in 2017 through the support from the scholarship. She won the National 400m Hurdles Title for the 10th time, making her the first person in Australia to have won the title 10 times. She also was able to represent Australia in the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.

The scholarship also meant that Lauren could focus on her academic responsibilities more which resulted in her being accepted into the Golden Key Society. The Society is the world’s largest academic honour society, encouraging members to participate in leadership and community opportunities.  

Lauren also was a guest speaker at the UC 4 Yourself days as part of the Widening Participation Program. The coordinators said that Lauren excelled on the day and her speech inspired the school students to think about university as a viable pathway, something many of the school students did not think they could achieve.

Kylie Lindbeck

Kylie Lindbeck is an elite Australian weightlifter who is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Sports Coaching and Exercise Science at the University of Canberra. Her key sporting achievements to date include:

  • National Championships (2013; 2014; 2016, 1st)
  • Oceania Championships (2013; 2014, 3rd)
  • Commonwealth Championships (2013, 10th; 2016, 2nd)
  • Commonwealth Games (2014, 5th)
  • Australian Team World Championships (2014)
  • Australian Open (2016, 1st )

Kylie balances work, study and weightlifting training (and recovery) which places a lot of demand on her finances and means successful time management is vital. As an athlete she has high general costs of living because of the need to maintain regular medical and soft tissue treatment. Her treatment includes attending physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, sport psychologists and other professionals, which is extremely important for her performance but is also very expensive.

To support herself financially Kylie works as a coach at the local gym but thanks to this scholarship she was able to slightly to adjust her working hours and focus more on her studies. With more time for her studies Kylie hopes to complete her degree earlier while continuing to work towards her goal of making the Commonwealth Game qualifiers.

Kylie won the 2017 Australian International with a personal best snatch and is moving towards her goal of becoming an ACT Firefighter along with continuing to do well at UC. She used the scholarship to help her focus more fully on her training and studying, allowing work to fall to the background.

Kylie also participated in the UC 4 Yourself days at the University and enjoyed being to engage one on one with the students.

It was encouraging to see so many young students take interest and ask questions about UC and the available services, looking towards their future. I really enjoyed engaging with the students about their sporting and academic aspirations and sharing my own experience in how supportive UC has been in helping me achieve my academic and sporting goals.

Rachel Tallent

Rachel Tallent is a Race Walking athlete and this year has commenced Honors –  in Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Rachel aspires to become a fully qualified psychologist which will require her to complete a total of six years of full-time study including her Bachelor degree, then Honours, followed by a Master Degree.

Her key athletic achievements to date include:

  • Olympic Games (2016; 40th)
  • IAAF World Walking Team Championships – Individual (2016, 41st)
  • IAAF World Walking Team Championships – Team (2016, Silver medal)
  • IAAF World Athletic Championships (2015, 34th)
  • World University Games  - Individual (2015; 7th )
  • World University Games  - Team (2015, Bronze Medal)

Having won the Athletics Australia National 20km Walking Championships last year Rachel automatically qualified for and attended the 2016 Olympic Games. She has also been added to the Lower Developmental Level of the Athletics Australia National Athlete Support Scheme (NASS) and now receives access to the Sport’s Medicine and Sports Science facilities at the AIS. NASS has reduced some of her financial burden associated with having to pay for physiotherapy, massage and doctor’s appointments but she still has a high level of expenses to meet.

Balancing work and study Rachel has two causal jobs at the Australian Institute of Sport; one as a Physiotherapist Aid in the Physical Therapies Department and the other as a Tour Guide.

Rachel requires high marks to undertake her Master’s degree to becoming a practicing psychologist meaning that her grades are of the uttermost importance now. The financial support from this scholarship has been a blessing for her, as now she will be more able to dedicate more time to her studies and sporting goals rather than focusing on making ends meet.

Rachel intended to use the scholarship to help fund her travel to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletic Championships in London and at the World University Games in Chinese Taipei.  Rachel deferred her study in Semester 2 in order to attend these events. Unfortunately prior to these competitions Rachel fractured her leg and was unable to compete. The scholarship has subsequently assisted her recovery and preparations to return to competition.  Rachel hopes to recover in time to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Kalindi Commerford

Kalindi Commerford is an Australian women’s hockey player who is undertaking a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism and Bachelor of Laws at UC.

At the end of 2016 Kalindi was selected from the Australian Hockey League (AHL) to tour with the Hockeyroo’s and play in her debut series - meaning she now represents Australia at the highest level in women’s Hockey. Training six days a week with the seventh for recovery (this equals over 20 hours) means Kalindi has little time left for all her other commitments such as study.

Kalindi supports herself financially working as a casual at Moray & Agnew Lawyers as a paralegal, however because of her sporting commitments she is, at most, only able to work two days a week. Despite receiving some Centrelink benefits her sporting commitments were leaving her in financial strain and she was struggling to purchase her law textbooks.  Receiving this scholarship has meant that she will now be able to focus much more time on the things that matter most to her such as her Hockey career and her academic studies without the worry of looming financial stress.

On the 25 January 2018 it was announced that Kalindi Commerford will be a Hockeyroo full-time and be a part of the Commonwealth Games squad. She has deferred her degree for this year while she plays for the Hockeyroos full-time.

It's a once in a lifetime chance to play at a Commonwealth Games on home soil, it's special. And to do that in front of family and with some of my best friends, that would be amazing.

Jesse Kerrison

Jesse Kerrison is an aspiring professional cyclist and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Sports Management at UC. He has a high academic achievement record as well as a promising cycling career ahead. He is currently competing nationally and internationally at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Continental level, with Australian-based trade team Isowhey Sports – Swiss Wellness p/b Cervelo.

In 2016 Jesse won the National U23 Criterium Championship and while he has massive cycling goals to achieve, Jesse also understands that Cycling is not a lifelong career. He is excited to complete his Bachelor of Sports Management so that he can continue to work in the field he is passionate about once he retires from his sporting career. He is particularly passionate about working towards the improvement and promotion of cycling in Australia post retirement.

His key achievements from last season include:

  • International New Zealand Cycle Classic - UCI 2.2 (2016, Stage 1, 3rd)
  • International New Zealand Cycle Classic - UCI 2.2 (2016, Stage 5, 3rd)
  • Tour de Kumano, Japan - UCI 2.2 (2016, Stage 1, 1st)
  • Tour of Qinghai Lake, China - UCI 2.HC (2016, Stage 2, 3rd)
  • Herald Sun Tour, Australia - UC 2.1 (2016, Stage 3, 4th)

Jesse looks forward to successfully representing his team at more national and international events, including (but not limited to): Tour of Taiwan, Tour of Korea and Tour of Alsace France. In the long term, he aspires to represent Australia at World-Tour Cycling Events such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France.

He understands that he only has a limited window of time in which to peruse his cycling career. As such, he was nearly going to choose cycling over studies because of the financial burden, but knows that he needs his studies in the long-term. Thanks to the Eldon and Anne Foote Elite Athlete Scholarship he has had the ability to train/compete without obstructions while meeting his academic and future career goals.