University of Waikato Student and Hillary scholar Morgan Haakma is making waves in the national wakeboarding scene and shows no signs of slowing down.
Last year, the former New Plymouth local made the national squad to compete at the 2015 World Wakeboarding Championships in Mexico.
This year, Morgan placed first at the Wakeboarding New Zealand National Championships in the Junior Women’s Division.
She’s been a pro at water sports from day dot.
"Most of our family holidays were spent at the lake, water-skiing or wakeboarding," says Morgan. "My whole family loves the sport and my older brother and I often ride together."
Morgan is currently in her second year of a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies. For most, balancing study and high-level sport can be tricky, but Morgan says the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme has been a huge help.
“The programme helps a lot with sport and study because you can fit your timetable around how you need to train. Last year when I went to Mexico I could be flexible with my studies, and catch up with anything I needed to in summer school.”
She says there are a lot of opportunities to connect with elite athletes and organisations through her degree.
“We’re close to so many high-performance training facilities and so many opportunities with connections to people who know the industry.”
Morgan has been wakeboarding competitively for seven seasons and says her biggest inspiration is her coach, professional wakeboarder Brad Smeele, who taught her to follow her dreams no matter the odds.
Applications for the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship, as well as many other scholarships, are now open. For more information and to apply visit Waikato Scholarships
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