Diver Sarah Watson is making a splash in more ways than one, having recently been named Murdoch University’s Elite Athlete of the Year.
The 20 year old has nearly completed the first year of a psychology degree and said her competition schedule hasn’t had too much of an impact on her studies so far.
“I had one major competition just after study break in April, which worked out well,” she said.
“After a rocky period, all of my hard work and training paid off and I came away with three gold and one silver medal.”
Ms Watson was also named overall Diver of the Year for her age group, something that bolstered her chances of winning the Murdoch University award.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but I was thrilled to be recognised. The grant will also help cover my costs in the lead up to the next national competition,” she said.
At the moment, Ms Watson completes five three-hour training sessions each week with her club coach at Challenge Stadium.
When Semester Two exams are over, Ms Watson will head to the United Kingdom to train and compete.
“It’s their winter, but the pool is kept at 27 degrees so it’s not as cold as outside,” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun. I’ll be there for three months, coming back in time for the start of classes next year.”
Ms Watson hopes her degree will prepare her for a career as a sports psychologist, assisting other elite athletes.
“It’s important to be passionate about what you do, so I’m enjoying sport while I can and making plans for my life after diving.”