Goal kickers

RETURNING to university study while juggling the pressures of a high-profile sporting career may seem daunting, but Southern Cross University is developing a reputation for up-skilling the sporting elite.

Don Knapp, CEO of Australian University Sport and a proud Gold Coast resident, is up-skilling himself with a doctor of business administration (DBA).

As a high flier in the Australian sporting industry, Knapp has always had a competitive edge, but this time the opponent is only himself.

A former professional baseball player and coach, Knapp managed the Australian Olympic baseball team that won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics and was the CEO of the Australian Baseball Federation from 2004-2007.

While the time commitment required to study for a DBA or MBA can be demanding, Knapp says the gratification is well worth the effort.

“Lifelong education re-energises. The DBA re-confirms what I do well, yet enlightens me to areas where I can improve,” says Knapp.

Queensland State of Origin veteran Steve Price is another high profile sports star who has hit the books at SCU.

The New Zealand Warriors hard man completed the final stages of a master of business administration (MBA) through Southern Cross University’s Graduate College of Management.

Price says the course had been challenging but is an important part of his long-term plan for the future.

“I’ve had friends in the rugby league world who thought that they would get a job after retiring from the game because of who they are and what they do, and they’ve ended up getting a shock,” says Price.

“I’d love to be involved in the executive of the National Rugby League but the opportunities in the corporate field of the game are few and you need to be in a position to take them as they arise.

“Qualifications are important for that reason, and also for getting a job in the wider world.”

Price says the degree has made him realize the similarities between the world of sport and business.

“Some of the things that I’ve learned on the course have been great for giving me a better understanding and confidence in everyday life,” he says.

“We did one of our papers on leadership, which was obviously helpful for me in leading a team and getting the best out of individuals.”

Southern Cross University’s Graduate College of Management has a range of study options to help people change their career direction, boost their chances of promotion or simply upgrade their qualifications.

The college offers postgraduate courses including the master of business administration, master of professional accounting and master of human resources and organisational development, and the doctor of business administration.

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