Since embracing the opportunity to study and play sport in the American collegiate system, NSW hockey athlete Rebecca Ward is thriving athletically and academically.
Bec began her US college journey at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, in August 2016 with the hopes of pursing a world-class education and an elite sporting opportunity.
VCU is a NCAA division one college located on the east coast of America that offered Bec a full scholarship plus living expenses, making the US college opportunity an attainable one for the Ward family.
Prior to the beginning of her US college adventure, Rebecca was a high-achieving student at Merewether High School in NSW and a committed hockey athlete for Hockey NSW.
Her list of sporting accolades in Australia is broad, with titles such as;
NSW U18 State Hockey team member
NSW All Schools Open Girls Merit Team member
Named Player’s Player of Newcastle Premier League Hockey Competition
Named Merewether High School Sports Woman of the Year.
Bec’s academic ambitions are equally impressive, with aspirations of studying in the field of Medicine or Chiropractic studies at VCU.
On-field at college in the US, the midfielder wears number 19 proudly and plays a valuable role in her team, alongside fellow NSR hockey athlete, McKinley Ryder. (Hockey Victoria)
In her Freshman season, Bec started 16 games out of 18, an impressive feat for a first year international student-athlete! She has recorded two goals and three assists in a remarkable first season playing division one college hockey in America.
Bec was named in the All-Rookie team in November 2016 as a freshman, just a few short months after making her debut as an international collegiate student-athlete.
As one of four Ward girls, the possibility of being joined by her younger sister, Rachael in the future is an exciting prospect for Bec, who shares close family values with her three sisters.
“My connection and relationships with my family is a fundamental aspect of my life. Being one of four daughters, I enjoy being part of a large, stable family, where we are all able to support and encourage each other. I value the opportunity to live and study away from home, while still maintaining contact with my family,” Bec said prior to her departure.
As a determined student and athlete in the US college system, Bec is certain to achieve great things in an international setting and likely to continue to strive for further success as her college career progresses.
Prior to her VCU adventure, Bec expressed her dedication to the demanding, yet rewarding lifestyle of a US collegiate student-athlete.
“I believe I can make a valuable contribution to a college team, as I offer a new dynamic, proposing new perspectives on playing style and a different skill set. I have leadership skills that I believe can be utilised to positively impact a team, and am dedicated to a team style of play, in training and games,” Bec said confidently.
Bec’s journey at VCU is in its early stages and already she has achieved incredible things. This inspiring young student-athlete is certainly one to watch, as her future at VCU progresses.