Melanie Woiwode Scholarship Recipient: Yasmine Maize – Football

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St. Andrews student Yasmine Maize has played football nearly her entire life, and once she came to Scotland to study abroad, she wanted to continue her passion. Check out her awesome action shots and read about her experience playing football at St. Andrews below! 

Joining the 2nd Football Team has been an amazing experience that yasmine maize5has significantly enhanced my time at St Andrews. Not only have I been able to physically challenge myself and establish a healthy exercise schedule, I found that joining the football team has also been very mentally and emotionally beneficial. Playing a competitive sport has given me a greater depth to my study abroad experience and integrated me into an incredible community that I have become very close with. I decided to try out for the team since I have played soccer competitively for over 12 years and had wanted to get involved with the sport again. Getting back into playing has been an unexpected bonus to my study abroad experience as it has brought a familiar part of my upbringing abroad, which has helped me ground myself in my new living environment.

In addition to helping me live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, one of the most important things about joining the football team has been the friendships I have formed because of it. My 21 football team-members have become like a family to me; we train together, compete together, and socialize together on and off of the football field. Additionally, my coach Iain Holmes has been really helpful in motivating my teammates and myself to play the best we can and has made my football experience really positive. Just by attending the practices three times a week and always trying my best, I made a dramatic improvement, which really helped me perform better in games and increased my confidence. The practices were always a fun way to decompress away from the pressures of academics or other responsibilities.

Though I could have still done the football program without the 60-pound grant I received, the scholarship did help. I come from a single-parent home and though my mom always encourages me to embrace new opportunities, it can be challenging to afford such activities. All of the costs that I paid for football have been only the most necessary purchases. Luckily the program has been priced very reasonably considering how much time we spend in training, using the fields and training facilities, and traveling around Scotland competing. Also the countless benefits I am getting out of my involvement, like fitness, friendships, and new experiences, have made the cost of the program very worth it.

I would recommend other young women studying abroad to get involved with a sport since I have found it to be a very fulfilling part of my experience. I would recommend this scholarship to those who have been involved with a sport and need extra monetary support to make such activities possible. I am very grateful to receive funding since being on the football team has been one of my favorite activities that I have been involved in at St Andrews and it has really enhanced my study abroad experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Melanie Woiwode Scholarship for women in sport, or wish to apply, click here