Marlborough cyclist awarded Hillary Scholarship

31 March 2014

Callum Saunders

Get on your bike: Cycling champion and former Marlborough Boys’ College student Callum Saunders is one of this year’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship recipients.

For new Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship recipient Callum Saunders, it was the classic Weet-Bix Kids Triathlon that first sparked his interest in competitive cycling.

Now, he’s a national and secondary schools’ road cycling champion. In 2013 he was selected to represent New Zealand at the Junior Track Cycling Championships in Glasgow, Scotland following his three silver medal haul at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Callum is studying a Bachelor of Management Studies and will have his course fees covered, receive specialist coaching and mentoring, and will take part in leadership programmes as part of the Hillary Scholarship programme at the University of Waikato.

Mentoring and management

“The Hillary Scholarship will be a huge help, not just financially but with the mentoring opportunities and management of my sport and academic studies. I’m looking forward to making the most of what the scholarship has to offer,” says Callum.

Callum is an extremely dedicated athlete, following an intense and finely-tuned training and race preparation programme, which he will be balancing with his studies at Waikato, training up to 50 weeks of the year and up to 30 hours a week with a variety of gym, road and track training.

Setting up for success

“I also closely monitor my health and food intake, while following the training plan set by my coach. By focusing mentally and ensuring I train, recover, eat and keep in good health I know by the time I roll up to the start line I’ll be able to perform to the best of my ability.”

As an elite cyclist, Callum thrives on the sheer thrill and excitement of racing. “The immense adrenalin rush of racing shoulder to shoulder held to the ground by two pieces of rubber the size of your thumbprint, hitting speeds of more than 75kmph is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced.”

Sir Edmund Hillary

The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme is the most prestigious scholarship on offer at Waikato University. It’s awarded to students who are high academic achievers and who are also achieving in the arts or sports. Scholars have their course fees covered, receive specialist coaching and mentoring and take part in personal development and leadership programmes.

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