AUSTRALIA’S fastest-ever woman, Melissa Breen, will be the University of Canberra’s first athlete in residence.
The new role will give students the opportunity to work with and learn from the national record-holding runner, whilst also seeing her assist in sport and exercise research.
Melissa is a 100m and 200m sprinter who broke the national record in the 100m in February with a time of 11.11 seconds, a record that had stood for 20 years, making her Australia’s fastest-ever woman. Born and raised in Canberra, she says she is looking forward to giving back to the community in her new role at the University, which will mainly see her help educate students studying in sport-based fields like exercise science and sports media.
“I’m excited to be the first University of Canberra athlete in residence. It’s a leading institution for sport that is right here in Canberra and I think this partnership helps bridge the gap between athletes and the community,” Melissa said.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to share with students what it takes to be an elite athlete, which I think will both help their education and improve my professional development. I’m also looking forward to being involved in research such as in trials or even as a test subject.:
The athlete in residence position is led by the University’s Faculty of Health. Dean Professor Diane Gibson said that while universities have a long tradition of writers and artists in residence, Ms Breen may not just be the University’s first athlete in residence, but is potentially the first one worldwide.
“As far as we’re aware, Melissa Breen is the first athlete in residence at any university in the world, so the University of Canberra might even be making history with this appointment,” Professor Gibson said. “This is a unique opportunity for University of Canberra students, staff and researchers to have access to one of Australia’s best athletes, providing a vital link with industry and continuing to build our reputation as a leading institution in health and sport.”
The athlete in residence position is in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Design, the University of Canberra Union and the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise.
[Photo via melissabreen.com.au]