World-class cyclist Holly Takos (BCrim ’21) has represented Australia in the Commonwealth Games (2014), Track Cycling World Championships (2017), and is a two-times Oceania and Australian Champion.
While she was achieving her dream of representing Australia on the world stage, Holly also harboured a desire to do something to support the wider community.
‘I knew that once I hung up my bike, I wanted to be on a career path that would allow me to contribute to the world around me, so criminology at Flinders University was the perfect fit,’ says Holly, who graduated from the Bachelor of Criminology last year.
She says the Elite Athlete Program at Flinders University has been pivotal to pursuing her sporting goals, without having to put her studies on hold.
‘The hardest thing for athletes who are also studying is trying to find the perfect time balance to focus on both commitments to the best of our abilities. The program gave me that balance.’
As a member of the national Elite Athlete Education Network, through the Elite Athlete Program Flinders supports athletes to achieve academic excellence while also pursuing their sporting career. Students in the program receive advice, academic planning, and the flexibility to balance their degree with their sporting commitments.
A LIKE-MINDED COMMUNITY
With 156 students currently in the program, it also provides the opportunity to network with other athletes at the University with similar ambitions, and who may be facing the same challenges.
‘Being part of a community of like-minded people gave me the confidence and support I needed to keep pushing forward,’ says Holly.
SECURING HER FUTURE
Now retired from professional cycling, Holly is focused on using the knowledge she gained from her degree, working for the Commonwealth Bank as part of their Cyber Security Graduate Program. She is currently part of a team that works to protect customers from cyber-related threats through conducting research and analysis of emerging trends, as well as monitoring attacks by using detection tools.
Holly says, ‘If it wasn’t for the support I was given by the University and the Elite Athlete Program to balance both my studies and sporting ambitions, I would not have set myself up as well as I did to transition out of sport into a new career path.’
Elite Athlete Program: To be eligible, athletes need to be competing at state level or above. Flinders works with these students to find the best study pathway into their chosen degree. Through the program they are provided with advice, support and flexibility to complete their degree while fulfilling their professional athletic commitments. Learn more