Student news

Date published: 29 November 2010

Open Universities Australia (OUA) congratulates its students Lydia Lassila and Melissa Wu on their individual nominations in the 2010 Sports Performer Awards.

The Sports Performer Awards is a national competition run by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that recognises Australia's premier sports performers of the past 12 months.

Lydia Lassila, Australian Winter Olympian and 2010 Winter Olympic gold medalist in aerial freestyle skiing, is one of the 12 nominees for the pinnacle award; the Sports Performer of the Year. Lassila is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Business Studies with Monash University through OUA.

Lassila's nomination for Sports Performer of the Year is a testament to her determination and courage. She overcame a debilitating knee injury at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, to reclaim the world no.1 ranking and win gold in her final jump at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Melissa Wu, Australian Summer Olympian and 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, is one of 6 nominees for the Young Performer of the Year. Wu is currently studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) through OUA.

Wu made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she became the youngest Australian ever in history (at 16) to win an Olympic medal in diving, winning silver in the synchronized 10m platform. In this year's Commonwealth Games she went one step better, winning gold in the same event with partner Alexandra Croak.

Recent OUA 'Come Study' Football Scholarship recipient, Sarah Walsh, is an integral member of The Matildas, the Australian Women's football team which has been nominated for Sports Team of the Year. The Matildas won the 2010 Asian Cup, the Asian region's most prestigious trophy.

Lassila, Wu and Walsh have all been able to juggle their sporting and education pursuits successfully. As a member of the elite athlete friendly universities network (EAFN), OUA has made a commitment to assist all elite athletes to pursue their educational goals.

OUA Executive Director Business Development, Cratis Hippocrates, said: "OUA is ideal for elite athletes and other who want to study while continuing their employment or other activities as they can fit studies around their training and playing commitments, rather than being restricted to a set classroom timetable."

"The success of Lassila, Wu and Walsh reinforces OUA's mantra that 'you don't have to change your life to get a university education."

OUA wishes it's elite athlete students nominated for Sports Performer Awards the best of luck for the awards and continued success in the future.

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