Ever wondered what path sports could take you on. Sport has always been a great way to see the world but now more than ever it is also a way to gain higher education, train with the best coaches and teams, and play the sport you love.

Hear from athletes that have gone on to get educations and play in top level teams. Find out how you too could follow in their foot steps and gain a scholarship.

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AMY BEGG - NCAA Division I

City: Christchurch

US College: Morgan State University

My Story"I had I never dreamt that attending a college in the states could be a reality until I went to the Canada Cup in 2014. I was representing the Junior White Sox when college scouts approached me, that is when I began to consider College in the USA. Upon arriving back in New Zealand I made a recruitment video and uploaded it to YouTube in the hope a college scout may see it. I never thought anyone would look at it but the effort I put into the video payed off when I got a message from a coach offering me a full ride scholarship at a division 1 University located in Maryland, USA. I made the decision to use a professional videographer to help with the video, this meant each pitch was labelled and I felt it showed I was serious about the opportunity. The video is still on youTube “Amy Begg Softball Pitcher Recruitment Video” if you would like to have a look at it and get some ideas.I received the message from the Coach in October 2014 as I was in my final year of High School, I was to begin college in January of 2015 half way through their academic year. We had to immediately look into the academic requirements to attend a Division 1 school as these are stricter than lower division universities or Junior Colleges. We then booked the SAT test for December, I began maths tutoring as the maths curriculum is different and I needed a better grade than a simple pass to qualify. Over my time at high school I had enrolled in core classes meaning that when I was offered the opportunity my academic record matched the requirements needed. This was by coincidence, it was more good luck than good planning and I thank my parents now for encouraging me to continue with both maths and science.The governing body for college sport in the USA is the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), this bought a large amount of paperwork to complete and a number of documents were required to gain eligibility. There was also a cost involved in having my academic record translated and checked.This was a very exciting time for me but the short time to prepare meant that it was also stressful waiting for the NCAA to grant me eligibility to play in a Div 1 college. I received eligibility just in time and left to college on the 18th of January 2015. It was a shock when I first arrived because even though you’re a student you have to fit workouts, practices and meetings around attending classes and studying. Here in New Zealand most teams practice once maybe twice a week, at school we practiced every day. It didn’t take me long to adjust and before I knew it, it was my home away from home with lifelong friends and some of the best memories. I have now arrived home with an internationally recognised Bachelor’s Degree, no student loan and a lifetime of experiences I won’t forget. I would encourage others to do their research on the academic requirements for the college they are interested in and start planning for this as early as possible, it is an experience you will not regret, please feel free to contact me anytime for information or advise."

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