As a young South Australian soccer enthusiast, you wouldn’t think it could get much better than knowing you will spend the next four years playing the sport you love in Florida, USA, right?
For Chantelle Reed, however, that’s just the beginning. Chantelle’s dream of playing soccer at a high level in her future was complemented when she received a full scholarship to attend Eastern Florida State College, in Melbourne, Florida.
After exploring a variety of sporting options in her youth, Chantelle briefly dabbled in dancing, swimming and athletics, before finding her place in soccer.
“One time I played soccer with a bunch of boys. I liked the aggression in the game and thought this might be good for fitness,” Chantelle said.
Fast-forward to the present, and Chantelle is currently playing in the Adelaide City seniors squad at 17 years of age.
With her desire to play the highest level of soccer possible and aspirations of professional soccer, the young South Australian saw the opportunity to become a US college student-athlete as a key step in working towards that dream.
“I heard that soccer in America was good for females so I thought if I do a few years at home with my club, then experience somewhere else, I could see if that will take me further than what I could get here (Adelaide).”
So I thought going over there, studying and playing soccer was another great opportunity for me to get somewhere I wanted to be with my soccer,” Chantelle said of her US college opportunity.
Chantelle will spend the time leading up to her August 2017 entry to Eastern Florida State preparing for college life by combining fitness training, work and exploring her study options.
The talented footballer hopes to study something in the field of either sport movement or sports photography, as she has a couple of interests in her life.
Upon her coach’s offer of a full scholarship, Chantelle was shocked and thrilled to accept such an incredible opportunity and looks forward to meeting her coach in person.
“I did not expect to get such a big opportunity. When the coach offered me a full scholarship it gave me a confidence boost and made me think I can go somewhere because of him!”
I can’t wait to finally meet him and get some soccer in with him,” Chantelle said gratefully.
While some student-athletes prefer a cooler climate and are excited by the opportunity to experience a white Christmas, Chantelle was vying for the chance to immerse herself in an American coastal climate. Being offered a position at a college in Florida, therefore, satisfied every element of her perfect college placement.
“I’m looking forward to the whole journey. It’s going to be a huge experience and I’m very excited,” Chantelle said.
Chantelle sees the US college pathway as a great insight into her future beyond school, with the variety of opportunities college will provide her.
“I think going to this college will give me a good idea about what I really want to do in the future. Getting the degree will help me go in the direction I want to go in,” she said.
Having embraced a future in Florida, Chantelle has some parting advice for future sports enthusiasts and students who find themselves in her position.
“If I was going to give advice to other athletes wanting to do this, I would say; just keep pushing yourself because you never know where you’ll end up,” Chantelle said.