MWAS caught up with former scholarship holder and MWAS Athlete of the Year 2014, Mikaila Watson to see how she is going down in Perth. We asked Mikaila a few questions about the good and the bad…
You have moved to Perth to further your university and sporting careers. What have been some of the biggest challenges for you in making the move?
Amongst training sessions, gym sessions both personal and team orientated, practice games and fitness sessions; I’ve found it challenging to balance my studies and training load.
How did you organise accommodation and people to share with and how are you going fending for yourself?!
I was really lucky in that a hockey friend’s parents had bought a house and had a spare room; so I haven’t had the daunting experience of random roommates yet which I’m very grateful of. As far as fending for myself I’ve been going okay so far, but in regards to my hate-hate relationship for doing the dishes nothing has changed since I was at home.
First time at university can be quite daunting with so much to figure out and getting to the right places on time. Can you come clean and tell us about anything that didn’t go quite right during your first week?
The first week of uni was really quite nerve racking, I carried around a map the whole week because I was so in fear of getting lost; which I did actually do on the first day (oops).
There are plenty of good coffee shops around Notre Dame, have you found a favourite yet or are you enjoying the testing phase?
I’m still just playing the field a little bit in that respect, but generally trying to find the cheapest cup of coffee is definitely high on my agenda!
What about hockey? Tell us what you have been up to since joining the Hockey WA Talent Accelerant Program (TAP) in October 2015. And what are you hockey goals for 2016?
Lots of preseason training at the moment encompassing skills sessions twice a week, team and individual gym sessions 3 times a week and pylometric training. I’ve been involved in the HWA preseason cup, which has been a great way to get a few good hit outs in before the regular season starts in April.
A few weeks ago I was involved in the HWA Development Camp, which leads into U18 trials; this was a two day camp that involved game play, basic drills and penalty corner development.
For this year, I am setting my sites on making U18’s and then securing a spot in a Premier League team.
You spent two years as a scholarship holder at the MWAS. How has this time helped you in the transition to higher level study and sport?
My time at the MWAS has prepared my both physcially and mentally for the challenges of the big move and the hard work that is required to reach the next stage. The Academy has taught me well about balancing commitments which is definitely a major factor in my life at the moment.
What are the best pieces of advice you could give to a current MWAS scholarship holder about making the best use of their opportunities?
As a past MWAS scholarship holder, I would have to encourage the athletes to embrace every opportunity that the Academy offers you. I think once you leave you see how few athletes in the Metro areas get the kind of time and effort put into them that the MWAS offers. Personally I really enjoyed the Psych and Gym sessions, and believe the skills I learnt in them have prepared me well for this next stage in not only my hockey development, but also life.
Have you been a good ambassador for Geraldton among your new friends? Is there any chance of a road trip with them back to Geraldton for the Triple J One Night Stand?
I will definitely be coming home for the Triple J One Night Stand, what a good excuse to come home for the weekend! I think the announcement of the concert has helped my “ambassador role” a lot, with probably about 100 people expecting a bed at my place for the night (sorry dad).
At this early stage of the transition, what are you missing most about life in Geraldton?
Currently with this extremely hot weather, I am missing the 10 minute walk to the beach, which now is a 20 minute drive! I think the most I’m actually missing is the ease of life at home, and not having to be an adult all the time (dishes suck).