Six of the best to Rio

Six elite athletes from Victoria University are off to Rio, representing Australia in the Olympic and Paralympic games.

David Powell, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 2015, makes his Olympic debut in table tennis. The 25 year old, who teaches at Strathcona Grammar, is Australia’s highest ranked male table tennis player.

Moonee Ponds runner Liam Adams, takes his talent and expertise to Rio as a member of the marathon team. Liam, who graduated from VU with a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement, still has strong connections with VU and uses the university’s heat chambers in training.

Rio will be racewalker Chris Erickson’s third Olympics and he has qualified for the 50 kilometre race, his preferred distance.

Chris graduated from VU in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts/Business (Sports Administration and Business Management) and now works as an adviser at Deakin University Student Association.

Judo is a family affair for the Coughlans. Eoin Coughlan, a VU student doing a Bachelor of Sport Science (Human movement) and Bachelor of Psychological Studies, narrowly beat his two sisters for selection to Australia’s Olympic judo team. His sister Aoife is studying Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement along with a Bachelor Sport and Recreation Management at VU.

VU’s Paralympics competitors are both hoping to repeat London gold medal performances.

Remedial massage student and shot-putter Todd Hodgetts smashed his own world record several times this year and is keen to do so again at Rio. The reigning Paralympic and World Champion in the F20 event was awarded Athletics Australia Male Para-athlete of the Year in 2015.

Footscray resident, Josh Hose plays for the Steelers, the wheelchair rugby team that defeated Canada to win gold in London. The athlete and motivational speaker, who completed Certificate IV in Disability at VU, was injured in a car accident in 2005 and took up wheelchair rugby as part of his rehabilitation.

Chris, Liam and Todd represented VU at the Australian University Games. Liam was twice Male Athlete of the Year at the VU sport awards. Todd was VU’s 2015 High Performance Sport Scholarship recipient and Male Athlete of the Year.

Leaders in sport

We are a leader in sport education, knowledge exchange and research through our Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL).

We support success through our elite athlete program, offering specialised services for our students who are balancing their studies and sport commitments. We have many highly sought after courses with a focus on sport and exercise and exceptional sport and fitness facilities. Our many ongoing collaborations and relationships with Australian sporting bodies include the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Institute of Sport and SAHOF.


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