Alexia in AustraliaCombining your studies with your sport can be a difficult task. In the last year, Alexia has not only managed this task successfully; she has also spent a semester in Australia and found inspiration for her future.

Tell us about your sport:

Eventing is an amazing aspect of equestrian. It allows all ages and levels to compete together. It consists of three disciplines: dressage, cross-country, and showjumping.  It’s a well-rounded sport containing precision, endurance, and agility.

What’s it like being an athlete for Indonesia and a student in the UK?

European riders are so numerous that they often fight to compete in competitions. Being the only Indonesian rider in Europe, events are always open to me.

Eventing is a great sport. Even an amateur can get to Olympic level of they work hard. This enables me to study and still compete every year during the summer season.

What are you plans for competing this year? Any big competitions?

I will return to eventing after my semester in Australia. With a bit of luck and hard work, the Asian Games in Incheon this September could be THE BIG competition this year.

Tell us about Australia. Why did you choose to go there?

My visit is part of the University’s exchange program. I’ve always been interested in marine biology; Australia gives me the opportunity to explore that domain, with courses allowing me to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, The Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast.

What role did Equestrian play in your choice of placement to Australia?

Equestrian made me question going abroad. I knew it would make it hard to return to Europe in the eventing season, especially with the Asian Games approaching. But sometimes new experiences and education opportunities are difficult to pass up. Once in a life time chances don’t happen every day.

A sea turtleWhat has been your highlight of your trip down under so far?

My field course to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef for my Marine Environments course. Spending 5 days on an idyllic island in a research station was an incredible experience. It has convinced me of my future ambitions for education.

How do you see your trip adding value to your sport and education for this next year?

Coming to Australia has opened my eyes; it allowed me to decide what educational career I wanted to pursue. Marine biology was always an idea, but I was never sure of how I could make it work with riding. Being here and being able to study, ride, and dive has shown me it is possible to maintain a high standard in all three.

 

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