Scholarship provides student athletes a chance to extend their education, continue to play the sport they love and give back to the local community
Two US students studying in WIT on basketball scholarships have been helping the Maxol WIT Wildcats team and the WIT basketball team to victory in addition to working with the Waterford community.
So far, the Wildcats hold a winning record of 5-2 just only winning 4 games last season.
Jazmen Boone and Katie Fox who have been top scorers with both local basketball teams in recent months were placed in WIT by the Sports Changes Life programme through the not-for-profit organisation’s Victory Scholarship programme.
Katie and Jazmen have made huge contributions to the Wildcat programme, yet their appreciation for the club goes beyond words. The Wildcats have welcomed Katie and Jazmen with open arms where the two girls are extremely thankful to be a part of the Wildcat family.
The students also get the opportunity to motivate kids through sports (Sports Changes Life offers soccer and basketball scholarships) and were two of 13 successful applicants (from a pool of 400) to be awarded.
Both students, who are staying on campus at WIT, maintain a blog twice weekly as part of the scholarship programme. They are staying on campus.
Katie whose US league is NEC has a BA in English and History from St Francis College in Brooklyn says she “did a 360” and chose a business post graduate course in WIT to become more employable. She is studying the MSc in Business, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship.
“I really wanted to continue to study and play basketball. I have always been involved in the community and liked the goals of inspiring other people through sports. That’s been the course of my life so I am delighted to be doing it for someone else. I also love travel.”
Jazmen who studied Economics at The College of William & Mary prior to moving to Ireland chose WIT’s MSc in Global Financial Information Systems as she likes computers and hopes to make a career as a business analyst with data, an up and coming business area. Her US league is CAA.
“When I was getting close to graduating I didn’t know if I wanted to do basketball strictly or go to grad school. I am now playing basketball and getting an education. The community aspect of it caught my attention. I heard I could be a good coach so I can see through this programme if I have the ability. I am truly passionate about making a difference. There are other similar programmes but they don’t have a focus on the future of the community.”
“As much as it is a great experience, it’s a learning experience for us – there’s a lot for us to learn too,” she adds.
Sport Changes Life aims to raise the aspirations of young people on both sides of the Atlantic through sporting excellence, academic achievement and personal development. With its Victory Scholars Program it has created a unique opportunity that provides student athletes a chance to extend their education to post-graduate level, continue to play the sport they love and allows them to give back to the local community.
“The selection process for the Victory scholarships is rigorous, with over 400 initial applications. Those selected are all former collegiate athletes who demonstrated high academic achievement during their undergraduate studies, combined with a clear passion for giving something back to society through sport. They serve as high achieving student-athlete role models that WIT is proud to be associated with. We are delighted to be able to offer the girls a postgraduate education of their choosing and have seen how this international factor has enhanced their programmes of study and the experience of the young people they work with,” says Dr Michael Harrison, Head of School of Science and Computing at WIT.
Katie and Jazmen dedicate numerous of hours coaching for the Waterford Wildcats and Mercy Secondary School. They also particpate in the breakfast club at Mount Sion Secondary School in the morning and volunteer at Saint Saviour’s National School.
Both are sponsored by Teamwear Ireland.
Jazmen’s blog can be found at: http://sportchangeslife.com/blogs/Jazmen_Boone
Katie’s blog can be found at: http://sportchangeslife.com/blogs/Katie_Fox
Related CoursesBachelor of Science (Honours) in Exercise Sciences (Common Entry)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sport & Exercise Science
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nutrition & Exercise Science
Master of Science in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health & Exercise Science
Bachelor of Business in Recreation & Sport Management
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sports Coaching & Performance