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Books to barbells and back again

Ryven Ewing
Ryven Ewing competing at the Senior National Weightlifting Championships in Canberra. 

His workmates at a Gold Coast gym call him ‘The Professor’, and if Bond University  Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science student Ryven Ewing follows through on his plan to tackle postgraduate study they mightn’t be too far off the mark. 

Ewing, an Academic Excellence Scholar who has successfully combined his tertiary study with a significant commitment to elite weightlifting, will graduate this week.

Not that he’s getting too excited about his achievement just yet.

“I think I’ll probably go on to do a Physiotherapy degree or even a Doctorate of Physiotherapy,” he says. “Whether I take a bit of time off before that or dive into it next sooner rather than later remains to be seen.  Maybe I’ll save the biggest celebrations for when I get to the end of that.”

Ewing arrived at Bond University almost by accident. 

Although he completed the earlier part of his education at The Southport School on the Gold Coast he found himself in Scotland for the latter stages of his schooling. He returned home to Australia when Covid hit. The pandemic left him unsure about what the immediate future had in store.

It was the opportunity to play rugby for Bond Colts that caused him to ponder next steps more closely. 

“I was thinking about heading up to Brisbane or even travelling further from home to study exercise science or physiotherapy, but I spoke to Brendan Jones who was the Bond Rugby coach at the time and I also knew current coach Grant Anderson from being coached by him previously. They convinced me to start playing at Bond and from there it seemed like a reasonably logical step to play and study here.”  

Bond has suited him well, he says, and sets him up for next steps.

“I come out ESSA-accredited, so I’m well set to take on professional opportunities as an exercise scientist if that’s what I decide to do.”

Although Ewing’s rugby is on hold for now, his weightlifting ambitions are ramping up. 

“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an elite athlete,” he says. “I really enjoy rugby, it’s probably still my favourite sport, but if I want to go into a sport at an elite level, I reckon weightlifting is the sport for me. I won’t be affected by arguments about selection, or team performance or whatever. In the end it’s all on me, and that’s the thing that really attracts me to it. Whoever lifts the heaviest wins. It’s not a matter of opinion. I quite like that about it.” 

So where to from here? 

“I definitely get asked this a fair bit,” he says.

“I just want to take it step by step and see what I can achieve as I go. I’d love to go to a Commonwealth Games and a World Championships or something like that, and of course everyone would love to get to an Olympics, but it’s the kind of sport where you’ve just got to do the work and keep learning one day after the next.”

Ewing is one of 641 graduates who will receive their awards at today’s Bond University graduation ceremonies. The five most common awards this semester are Juris Doctor, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, and the Bond University BBT Global Leadership MBA

After today there will 32,630 Bond University graduates. 


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