Olympic gold is in the sights of the latest swim sensation to call Bond University home, after born and bred Gold Coaster Jordan Harrison was given a full scholarship to study and train at the university.
The young Mermaid Beach local has already represented Australia four times in his swimming career and said receiving the scholarship to Bond University was a major boost to his career and studies.
Jordan is the latest swim sensation linked to Bond University, with rising stars Madeline Groves and Alex Graham both capping off a stellar 2014 in the pool by receiving the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarships to study at Australia’s leading private university, located on the Gold Coast.
They and Jordan join Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medal swimming star Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger), another Bond student, to form a formidable team on the national swimming scene.
“I was thrilled when I was told I had received the scholarship, and with all the facilities, mentors and support that Bond University will afford me I am confident I can reach Olympic level,” said Jordan.
Jordan started swimming at a young age and first represented Australia at the International Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012.
In 2013 he went to the World Championships in Barcelona and made three finals, and at the Commonwealth Games this year he competed in the 1500 and 400 metre events coming fourth and seventh respectively.
In his most recent swim for Australia he competed in the Pan Pacific Titles on the Gold Coast last year in the 1500, 800 and 400 metre events.
His short term goal is the World Championships in Russia this year, and long term he has Olympic gold in his sights.
Jordan said to be studying and swimming with Melanie, Madeline and Alex was an added bonus.
“We all know each other and we spur each other on so it is really positive and a great opportunity for me,” he said.
Melanie said Jordan, Madeline and Alex would benefit from starting university life together.
"Having a buddy at university that understands the commitments that come with professional sport will definitely be an advantage," she said.
"Uni life is very different for an elite athlete, there is very little partying, so to have support from others in the same position is beneficial."
As part of the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarships, Melanie will play an official mentoring role to Madeline and Alex.
"I already train with Alex and know how he is going in the pool, which makes it easy, and Maddie is so talented and doesn't need a lot of help in that regard," she said.
"Where I can really help is being there for them in terms of balancing their study and training and giving them advice. If they get stuck, I am always just a phone call away or for Alex he can always bail me up at training.
"It is such a fantastic opportunity for these young swimmers to be able to study while achieving their swimming dreams."
Bond University Director of Sport, Garry Nucifora, said the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarships awarded to Madeline and Alex were among the most prestigious available to young sporting hopefuls in Australia.
“Through Swimming Australia and Bond Swimming Ambassadors, which include a number of Bond University Olympic and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, these up and coming swimmers will be provided with a unique mentoring experience,” he said.
“It is also part of Bond University’s strategy to establish itself as the leading sports university in Australia and adds significantly to Bond’s rugby platform established over the past few years.”
Out of the pool, Madeline is planning to study a Bachelor of Social Science, Alex and Jordan are both studying business, and Melanie Schlanger is completing her MBA.