Sri Lankan swimming champion set to coach others with CQUni qualification

Published:04 March 2020

CQUniversity student Ishani Senanayake (top) has made plenty of new friends since moving to Rockhampton to study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences.

Ishani Senanayake’s talent in the swimming pool has seen her travel and compete all over the world. From a South Asia Games silver medallist to 17th FINA World Championship competitor, Ishani’s list of sporting accolades is impressive.

More recently, Ishani’s love of sport led her to study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences abroad with CQUniversity Rockhampton North, which she describes as an “unforgettable experience.”

“Ever since I was a child, I wanted to study abroad. I chose Australia because it’s among the safest counties for international students and embraces cultural diversity,” she says.

"In my view, Rockhampton is one of the best environments for you to live because you're surrounded by lovely people. I can confidently say that Rockhampton is a friendly environment for international students.”

Ishani explains that living on-campus at the Capricornia College Rockhampton is a great way to meet new people and form friendships outside of the lecture theatre.

“When you stay on-campus, you experience a lot of unforgettable moments and make lifelong friendships. You never feel alone because there’s always someone looking out for you,” she says.

“This place has supplied me with everything I need, including regular access to the University gym and swimming pool, which I frequent a lot.”

The aspiring personal trainer has now been in the Rockhampton region for five months and is currently getting ready to commence her second term of study.

“Studying and balancing my other responsibilities has been a little bit challenging. However, by making a timetable and working according to a schedule, I have found time to enjoy myself," she says.

“I am an American Swimming Coaching Association Level 2 qualified swimming coach, AUSTSWIM teacher and water safety instructor at Affinity Swimming Club, a CQUniversity Student Residence Advisor, and also volunteer at the Central Queensland Multicultural Association.”

Ishani says the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences course covers many areas of physical activity and will enable her to choose from some interesting employments options, post-graduation.

“So far, we have studied anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise physiology, biomechanics, exercise and sports psychology, motor control and learning, and exercise prescription and delivery,” she says.

“As an outcome, I can work within the fields of corporate health and fitness, professional sports training, coaching and development, strength and conditioning, or personal training.”

Ishani says her ambition is to be in a position where she can contribute to a healthier world. “It is important to find something you’re interested in and to remain focused and committed to what you do,” she says.

“A little motto I always live by is that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened; ambition inspired, and success achieved.”