University of California, San Diego
University of Manchester, Fall 2015
Melanie Woiwode Memorial Scholarship – Track & Field
Since middle school, almost 9 years ago now, I’ve loved running Track & Field. It’s a different sport, one that most don’t understand, since they tend to equate running to torture. But I loved it, and I still do now. My favorite was the hurdles.
Like I said, Track & Field is a different sport, but I see it as different in a [particular] way. Other sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball, or tennis can all be played recreationally by people of all ages. But hurdling, on the other hand…it’s a bit more difficult to casually find and run over hurdles. I said my reluctant goodbyes to the sport after high school. That is why when I studied abroad at the University of Manchester, I secretly wished for a Track & Field team, but I knew not to get my hopes up. Somehow, I got incredibly lucky and my hopes were exceeded. I was stunned when I found out UoM had a recreational Track & Field club team—something unheard of in most American schools.
Running Track & Field again in Manchester was so important to me because it gave me a chance to relive my passion for it. There is a deep support and friendship that comes with team sports that is difficult to find anywhere else. This experience was one of the best decisions I made abroad; it not only gave me self-fulfillment, but also a group of friends that I made many fond memories with. Track & Field gave me an instant sense of comfort and happiness in a foreign country.
…Without the Melanie Woiwode Scholarship, I definitely would have considered limiting my participation in Track & Field. Outside of the team membership, costs like track entry and circuit sessions required separate payments. However, I am grateful for the Melanie Woiwode Scholarship because it let me focus on training to the best of my ability. I was able to take advantage of all the available resources without worrying about my budget. In a world where money is everything, I would definitely recommend this scholarship so that students can focus on what they love instead of what they don’t have.