Swinburne Online student Matt Levy has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to sport as a Gold Medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Matt, who took out 5 medals including Gold in the Men's 4 x 100 m freestyle relay at the games, said he is honoured to be recognised for his achievement in sport.
“It is just fantastic to be recognised by the Australian community and I am so proud to receive such a great honour and hopefully be a role model to fellow athletes.”
The 27 year-old began studying a Bachelor of Business online in the middle of 2013. Matt said his hectic schedule made it impossible to attend on campus study.
“I have a 60 hour week. I work part-time in a bank for 30 hours and then I have swimming training 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. Online study was an obvious fit.
“But I also travel a lot for competition, so I have studied all around the world, where my swimming takes me. It’s been pretty easy to study fit around me so I can learn in my own time.”
Like many Australian athletes, Matt was encouraged to study on top of his training in order to have a future after sport. With one year left in his degree, Matt is already considering post graduate study.
“Although I have experience working in a bank, it’s good to have a qualification up my sleeve. But knowing that I finish next year, I am already thinking about further study.
“I think it’s because I have had a good experience with study. No matter where I am with sport someone is always online, whether on Facebook or on the Blackboard – a student, SLO or eLA is there to point to you in the right direction.
“Not only do you get quick responses to any questions you have, but it feels like you are part of a network of support.”
Matt is currently training for the nationals in April with hopes it will lead him to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and will receive his Order of Australia Medal during the May ceremony.