HomeNews ArticlesCol Pearse shines a light on education this National Careers Week
Australian Dolphins | 10 May 2023

Col Pearse shines a light on education this National Careers Week

Col Pearse is currently studying a Bachelor of Sports Media at Holmesglen in Melbourne. His journey has not been easy to get to where he is today, so during National Careers Week we wanted to shine a spotlight light on how he discovered his pathway.

When the Tokyo Paralympic Games were postponed and then rescheduled for 2021, Col faced the challenge of balancing his sporting goals and completing his final year of high school. This was a scenario many athletes faced and for Col to believe he could succeed, he felt it was important to have a plan in place. This plan included knowing what his next steps were following his graduation, which would remove pressure from the end of the year. After meeting with his Wellbeing Manager – Linley Frame, during his year 11 studies, they decided a referral to the AIS Career Practitioner Network was a priority.

With the support of one of the AIS’ Career Practitioners, Paul Armstrong, they set about future planning. Paul met with Col over Zoom calls to start the process of getting to know each other and to discuss Col’s interests. This process included completing activities to help identify interests, values and personal skills. The results from the assessments Col completed included suggested occupations he could explore, a study course and career pathways.

After completing Year 12 following the Paralympics in 2021, Col took a planned gap year – a decision made with the help of the assessment he had previously undertaken when deciding on a study pathway while balancing his swimming career.

“I had help from a career practitioner who helped guide me into the path I am currently on. For athletes struggling to find what study they want to do, get in contact with a ‘career practitioner’, they are there to guide you and discover what suits you.”

Holmesglen has a great Sports Media course, something he really enjoys. Col is already a natural in front of the camera, but the course will equip him with the skills he will need to cover all facets of the industry. This was intriguing to him as it gives him something to focus on other than just swimming, which was important to Col and his development. He has found that the structure of study assists him in being productive throughout the week and elevates his ability to prioritise essential aspects of his life. He had great support from Holmesglen from the beginning as he made the effort to connect with the course leader of the Sports and Media Degree who works closely with elite athletes undertaking the degree.

Col, like many athletes, believes that stressing about swimming is not healthy and can lead to poor performance in training and competition. “The best athletes in the world are the ones who balance their swimming career, with study or work. Having something you are passionate about outside of swimming is beneficial because it takes your mind off swimming, and it can help you focus on the things that matter in the rest of your life.”

From a wellbeing point of view, having life balance ensures that an athletes personal development grows at the same rate as their athletic development, and creates opportunities for when their elite sporting career comes to an end.