ACPE Elite athlete Elana Withnall shares her experiences

by frank-stuart

At ACPE, we love to show off our students’ accomplishments, both athletic and academic. With that in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the impressive achievements of Elana Withnall who is currently studying her Bachelor of Sports Business at ACPE.

Elana started her degree in 2013 at a much larger university, but as they didn’t take her athletic commitments into consideration (Elana was training to represent Australia at the time!) she didn’t feel supported in her studies. She made the switch in 2014 and hasn’t looked back!

As an online student of ACPE, Elana chooses to attend lectures and tutorials on campus when she’s not away competing. “I’ve found the unique learning environment the college offers to be extremely welcoming,” she says. “You can always find a smiling and informative face around the college!”

Balancing studies with sport can be very difficult at times, especially during key stages of the competitive athletic season, but Elana cites communication as her key to successfully keeping things on track.

“I make it a priority to let my tutors know when I will be away, and I am fortunate to have a very supportive team of family and friends both on and off the track,” she says. “Having the balance of a social, sport and study life definitely helps in achieving and maintaining good health, across all areas.”

Elana is a track and field athlete and double Oceania Heptathlon Champion, having won a gold medal while representing Australia at the 2013 and 2014 Oceania Athletics Championships. Last year, she was named the Australian Team Captain – her proudest moment! In five years’ time, she’s hoping to compete in the Olympics while starting a career in sports business, eventually looking to run her own company.

“Through the various strategies of ‘life management’ I’ve learned from ACPE and my support network, I am hoping that both life goals will be possible.”


Elana has already accomplished so much – we’re certain that she’ll go above and beyond achieving her goals! Below are some words of wisdom from Elana to share with other ACPE students and elite athletes:

“Be realistic with how much you can take on, to successfully manage your sport and training demands at a high level and to successfully complete your chosen degree. Don’t be afraid to study part-time if that’s how you are able to balance study and training. Your health and your relationships should always remain a priority.

Don’t forget to invest time into keeping your friendships and family ties strong as well as reaching your optimum health, because if those things lack, you will find yourself lacking on the sporting field too! Most of all be real with those around you and let them help you – especially during the stressful times!”

Want to know more about Elana and how she continues to juggle studying at ACPE and competing as a professional athlete? Then why not check out her blog or like her on Facebook and see first-hand what life is like for an elite athlete.

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