Katerina Kostakos


The 2022 Elite Student Performance Scheme (ESPS) was officially launched on Monday the 28th of March with new and returning students welcomed into the program.

The ESPS supports elite athletes and performers studying at Monash University, and the welcome event was an excellent opportunity for them to connect with guest speakers, faculty members and each other.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), Professor Sharon Pickering hosted the event, congratulating students on their successes to date and reminding them of the value they bring as leaders in the community.

“There is a whole suite of different opportunities that will not only equip you professionally and academically, but hopefully equip you to make a whole range of changes in this world,” she said in her speech.

“The golden age isn't behind us, it’s actually ahead of us. And you have the opportunity to take a really significant leadership role in the community.”

First year student and National diver, Hudson Skinner has been accepted into the ESPS this year and looks forward to representing Monash wherever he can.

“I would love to represent Monash at the World Uni games and also establish a strong structure with my sport and study,” he said.

Swimmers Olivia and Abbey are also excited to get back onto campus and their training is in full swing. With the Commonwealth Games coming up in July, the two are grateful for the support that the ESPS team provides.

“It’s going to be a big year because everything has been pushed back with Covid so there’s a lot of events happening. We don’t really have much time on our hands so that extra support is always helpful,” Olivia said.

“Help with our timetables has also been great as it stops us from having to move classes around and it just lets us put ourselves as athletes first,” Abbey said.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law at Monash University, Professor Bryan Horrigan, was guest speaker for the event, and talked about the importance of being mentally fit by remaining positive and innovative in everything you do.

“You need friendships and relationships, you need to give back to the sport. You need to do something that transcends what you’re going to achieve in making you the best version of yourself as an elite sportsperson or performer,” said Professor Horrigan.

The evening also featured a Question and Answer session with 2 ESPS Olympians. 2019 Science/Education graduate and Table Tennis Champion Heming Hu and current Arts student and Sailor Tess Lloyd spoke about the juggle of balancing their sport with their University studies and the highs and lows that come with it. Their advice to students was to make the most of their journey both in their sport and whilst at university, and to enjoy it while they can.

“Emotions are going to change, day by day. These days don’t last forever so cherish every moment.” Olympic Table Tennis player, Heming Hu said.

Students were also joined by Iain Roy from Athletes for Hope Australia, an organisation that supports athletes in giving back to the community through professional development opportunities and workshops.

“We are about inspiring and empowering athletes to make social positive change,” Iain said to the students.

Athletes for Hope will support students in the ESPS with guided workshops throughout the year focusing on helping students in making an impact in their community.

We wish all our athletes and performers all the best in their training, studies and competitions in 2022, we can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Photos from the event can be viewed here and you can find more about Monash University’s Elite Student Performer Scheme here.

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