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MIL OSI – Source: Bay Of Plenty Polytechnic – Love of Education and Sport Leads to Scholarship

Blending a desire to organise ‘massive’ events with a love of chasing the ball on the beautiful Mount beach has led to a High Performance Sports scholarship for emerging volleyball star Beniece Douch.

Beniece, a Diploma in Tourism (Event Management) student, is one of eight recipients for the 2015 Bay of Plenty Polytechnic High Performance Academy scholarships. The scholarship winners will be recognised and honoured at an awards ceremony this Thursday, 26 March at which former Silver Ferns netballer Jodi Tod-Elliott will be the guest speaker.

The winners of the 2015 scholarships are Abby Goldie (track sprinter), Alex Hawthorne (kayak), Amy Robinson (hockey), Beniece Douch (volleyball), Lauren Clarke (squash), Max Schroder (volleyball), Nik Ansorge (cycling), and Thomas MacRury (cricket).

The scholarships allow athletes to balance both career and sporting aspirations. “It just takes a load off,” said Beniece. “I don’t have to worry about working too much knowing that I have financial and sporting support. I can focus on studying and improving my sporting performance.”

All scholarship winners receive their year’s tertiary fees paid, access to the Polytechnic’s sport and fitness centre, including performance sport testing, as well as education, sporting and lifestyle support services provided by a High Performance Manager.

The scholarships are open to all students studying any full-time programme at the Polytechnic who are competing at a national or international level in their sporting code. This year saw more than 30 applicants vie for the scholarships.

While Beniece’s immediate sporting focus is on beach volleyball and finding a team partner with similar passion and goals as her own, she also has a dream of one day running her own wedding planning business or working in the event management sector.

Previous winners of the scholarship include NZ Beach Volleyball champion Sam O’Dea, World Champion Surf LifeSaver Natalie Peat and New Zealand’s fastest man – Joseph Millar.

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