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Score a Sports Scholarship

by Staff Reporter

There are many paths you can take to secure a place at your institution of choice. A sports scholarship is one such path that could get you from where you are to where you want to go. 

Universities with sports programmes are pretty much the only institutions in South Africa that offer funding for sport. As a result, the sports scholarship and bursary scene is relatively competitive.  Sticking to the true nature of sports.  Institutions offer only a limited amount of funding for a certain selection of sports. The scholarships either come from the university itself, donations and funding from alumni or from businesses and nonprofits.

First things first…

It’s important to be realistic. You have to be an exceptionally gifted sportsman or woman to be eligible for a sports scholarship or bursary. However, if you do have what it takes then your sporting talents and hard work could be your ticket.

So, do I qualify?

If you think you have what it takes, the next step is to figure out whether you do actually qualify.

The requirements and conditions differ for most institutions, so it is necessary to check the specific requirements. Generally, you have to have represented South Africa (or your home country) at a national school or age-group level. It is also possible to receive partial bursaries and scholarships if you have achieved half colours, colours or honours for a particular sport.

To apply for a sports scholarship, visit the universities’ websites to get more information and to apply. Here are the links to more information on sports scholarship at a few universities.

Scholarships and bursaries are offered for a variety of different sports. The number of funding opportunities, once again, differ from institution to institution. Sports commonly offered scholarships are: rugby, football, cricket, hockey, chess (yes, you can work up a sweat playing chess) and athletics. Be sure to do some research into which institutions focus on the sport or sports that you are interested in.  This is a great starting point. 

So, to summarise…

  1. Visit the website of the university you wish to apply for.
  2. Search for sport scholarships and bursaries (or follow a link mentioned in the list previously).
  3. Check the requirements.
  4. Fill out and submit the form.
  5. Time to hold thumbs!

Let’s go … international

If you’re interested in studying overseas, excelling in the realm of sport can open up many doors. Loads of international universities recruit exceptional sports players from all around the world to play for them. American universities, in particular, offer many funding opportunities for international sportsmen and woman. Take a look at USA Scholarship Athlete Placement, WSAS Athlete Management or WSAS International Sports Scholarships for more information.

Things to remember! 

Sports scholarships and bursaries are offered purely on sporting achievement BUT you are still expected to uphold certain academic standards at your institution.  Therefore, while your focus should be on sport, it is also important to be academically competent. Many sports scholarships and bursaries offer academic support to ensure that the students do not fall behind.

EduConnect 2Cents

If a particular sport is your passion and you have the ability to back you up, why not try to score a sports-based funding opportunity?  Apply to as many bursaries and scholarships as possible in order to improve your chances of making your dreams come true.   

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky

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