Newspaper article The Canadian Press

COC Announces Partnership That Will Provide Scholarships for Canadian Athletes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

COC Announces Partnership That Will Provide Scholarships for Canadian Athletes

Article excerpt

COC and Smith School announce partnership

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TORONTO - Olympic trampoline champion Rosie MacLennan knows first-hand how difficult it can be to balance education with her athletic pursuits.

She has had to juggle her studies at the University of Toronto with making the regular commute to her trampoline club north of the city for four-hour training sessions.

MacLennan, who successfully defended her Olympic title last summer in Rio, said she feels fortunate to be in a situation where she can concentrate on her education as well as her sport.

Not all athletes have the same opportunities. That's one of the reasons why the Canadian Olympic Committee has teamed with the Smith School of Business at Queen's University for an eight-year strategic partnership that will provide scholarships for COC athletes.

"This has created a whole new realm of support," MacLennan said. "I think it's great knowing when you're training -- and whether you use it during your career or after -- it's there. I don't want to say it's like a safety net, but it's a resource you can tap into when you're ready. It's very open so that you can tailor it to what your needs are."

Up to 1,200 elite athletes, under the COC's Game Plan program, will be eligible for scholarships in a broad range of programs. There are satellite campus options and athletes who are still training may be able to take advantage of flexible learning options.

MacLennan, 28, has an undergraduate degree in physical education and health. She recently took a year off from school but has picked things up again and hopes to complete her master's degree in exercise science by June.

"It was tough at times," she said. "You always have to set out the immediate priority. If worlds was coming up, then obviously training and competing was the priority. Right after the Olympics, it was a great time to really buckle down and focus on getting school (work) done. …

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