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Scholarships for outstanding achievement

Friday 30 April 2021 9:08am

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Scholarship recipients are pursuing studies in a range of subjects as well as maintaining their crafts as part of their degrees or simply as side projects.

From Sports to Music a range of talented young people are on their new journey at University with a scholarship in hand.

This year the University of Otago Performance Entrance Scholarship was awarded to a group of promising young people with outstanding achievements. The scholarship recognises academic students with high-level ability in cultural and sporting activities.

Recipients are pursuing studies in a range of subjects as well as maintaining their crafts as part of their degrees or simply as side projects.

One student, Bachelor of Arts (History) first-year Anna Saima, was one of the 2021 scholarship recipients. At only 18, Anna has had many achievements in sailing.

“I represented New Zealand in the 2017 America's Cup Endeavour Open Junior Regatta in Bermuda. I was selected by Sir Russell Coutts for this. Before that I competed in the 2016 Forward Sailing NSW Open Cup and placed in the top 25 out of out of 75 sailors.”

Most recently Anna competed in 2020 New Zealand 29er South Islands and placed third overall and first in female crew. The 29er is a technically challenging high-performance skiff (boat) derived from the Olympic 49er class.

The Dunedin-raised teenager with an interest in history is now excited to be experiencing university life.

“I’m really enjoying meeting new people. It’s been one of my favourite parts of tertiary life so far. It’s great to be surrounded by so many new faces. I’m also really enjoying my papers here, especially gender studies which is fascinating.”

Anna says she also plans to continue sailing whilst studying and would encourage others to be brave and give it a go too.

“I started sailing when I was 11. I went down to the Ravensbourne Boating Club with a group of friends and I wasn’t expecting much from it, but then I discovered I really love it.”

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Bachelor of Arts (History) first-year Anna Saima, was one of the 2021 scholarship recipients.

Alongside Anna is recipient Micah Tupou who was recognised for his achievements as a Basketballer.

Micah, who is also 18, played over 50 games for the Senior A Basketball Team his final year at St Patricks College. His team went on to compete at a national level. His success didn’t stop there.

“I was a part of the New Zealand Basketball Academy team which travelled to Las Vegas in 2019. I was a leader in the group and started in every game we played over there.”

The Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Sport Science, Psychology) first-year student was also approached to attend the select team Hoop Nation Australian tour in 2019.

With his scholarship Micah has chosen to study something he hopes will positively impact his career as a sportsman.

“I chose to study Sports Science as I have always loved sport and this will support me in a sporting career. This is my passion. I have also always been fascinated by psychology and this means I can study that too.”

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Micah Tupou (wearing number 14) was recognised for his achievements as a Basketballer.

The Wellington-raised teenager hasn’t yet decided exactly what his future will look like but says he knows Otago will help him to find out.

“I knew this was the best place for my studies and I was keen to branch out and experience something new. I’m keeping my options open for the future and seeing where my studies take me. University is a good place to find out what you can do with your skills.”

The scholarship is available to exceptional students with achievements as well as academic ability. The next applications will open at the end of the year for first-year 2022 students.