Part One: Alison Heinrich
UniSA student Alison Heinrich will never forget the moment she walked out in front of a stadium full of people cheering her at the 2019 Summer Universiade opening ceremony.
Heinrich travelled to Naples, Italy, in July to represent Australia at the Universiade – a ‘mini Olympics’ for university students. Wearing green and gold in front of so many people was a moment Heinrich treasured.
“Being able to represent your country is a pretty special thing, I think,” Heinrich said.
“When we walked out and did the opening ceremony, that was the highlight of the whole trip for me.
“Wearing the Australian uniform and having other people see you compete, or walk out in front of a stadium of all these people cheering – and not just for you, but for your whole country – it was pretty cool.”
Heinrich competed in shooting in Naples, a sport she has been involved in since she was 16.
Her dad introduced her to the sport, and Heinrich quickly went through the ranks, representing South Australia only a year after beginning in the sport.
A year later, the Bachelor of Business and Human Resources Management student was picked in a national development squad, which was how she was selected for the Uniroos team in Naples.
Although Heinrich has competed at Junior World Cups and participated in European tours before, she said the Universiade was the highest level she has been involved in.
“As far as international competitions, it was probably one of the bigger ones,” Heinrich said.
“It was a learning experience, the village environment and being at an event with different sports.”
While Heinrich competed hard at the Universiade, she was also given the opportunity to explore Naples and learn more about the people and their way of life.
“We got involved in the culture by doing things like visiting Pompei and eating pizza along the sloping Italian alleyways,” she said.
“It was nice having those experiences with other athletes.”
For the remainder of the year, Heinrich will be working towards competing at the Oceania Games at the backend of 2019.
She’s hoping to implement what she learned at the Universiade into her preparation.
“I just want to improve what I am doing,” Heinrich said.
Heinrich received a Grant from UniSA to make her travels to Naples possible, which she said she was very grateful for.