HND Sports Coaching and Development Level 8 student Thomas MacAskil is preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime when he finishes his studies with Borders College later this year.
Thomas will be heading stateside to Central Arizona University in August on a Track and Field scholarship studying Sports Psychology, having just signed a contract with Athlete Sports Management (ASM).
The 19-year-old from Hawick is a seasoned runner, competing in 5000, 3000 and 1500-meter racing events, and said his studies with the College have been instrumental in his running career:
“My studies at Borders College have been extremely beneficial to my running career. Not only are we learning about different topics such as psychology, strength and conditioning and nutrition – I can implement the stuff that I learn in the classroom into my own training and competition.
“As an example, I do a lot of performance-related nutrition classes with my lecturer Janet Jack, and I have learned a lot about fuelling correctly before racing and the importance of recovery in training.
“In addition, we also have psychology classes, which massively helps me being an athlete - learning how to move on from low points, dealing with the high points and strategies to help remain focussed in training and racing.”
Talking more about his studies and his move to the US in August, Thomas said:
“Studying Sports Psychology in America for the next four years will allow me to pursue my dreams. I chose the course because of the enjoyment I’ve had studying psychology at Borders College and how interested it makes me feel.
“I feel that Studying at Borders College has given me a good understanding of how high-performance sport works and what it takes to reach the top. I am thankful to all of the lecturers for what they have taught me and are still teaching me because I would not know half of the things I know if I hadn’t studied at Borders College.
“The things I have learned at College and used to implement into my training have helped me perform better in competition, which I feel has helped me in getting a scholarship in Arizona.”
Asked about what advice he would give to students looking to study sports, Thomas added:
“Take the leap and do it. Don’t live with regret. If you are interested in sports, have a passion for sports and you compete in sports, I think it’s the perfect area for you to study. Do not limit yourself to whatever you do in your life. Follow your dreams and goals and don’t stop until you reach them.”