UWS congratulates Australia's gold-winning Dani Samuels

Date: 24/08/2009

The University of Western Sydney congratulates its very own world champion, with Dani Samuels, a 21-year-old UWS student, winning Australia's first gold medal in the women's discus event at the athletics world championships in Berlin.

Dani, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts at the UWS Bankstown campus, threw the discus a personal best distance of 65.44m to become the youngest ever discus world champion.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, says the University community is immensely proud of Dani and her world championship success.

"Dani has established herself as a world-class athlete, with an exciting and inspirational career ahead of her. It takes dedication and sacrifice to train at such an elite level and to do it while also studying makes Dani's achievement all the more exceptional," says Professor Reid.

"On behalf of the University community, I congratulate Dani on all of her achievements, and we wish her well on in all her future endeavours - both academically and in the global sporting arena."

Among Dani's career highlights to date are being selected for the Australian Olympic team in Beijing in 2008; and winning a gold medal at the World University Games in Serbia earlier this year.

Dani is now looking forward to competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and ultimately the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Dani is a former recipient of a UWS Sports Scholarship and has received support under the Elite Athlete Support and Assistance (EASA) Program - an innovative Australian Sports Commission initiative that identifies elite athletes and helps them to balance their sporting and academic commitments.

As a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network, UWS provides practical support through the EASA Program to over 40 talented athletes currently studying at the University.

Simon James, who manages the Elite Athlete Program at UWS, says Dani's success in Berlin is a reflection of her great commitment to her sport.

"Dani has worked hard over the last three or four years. This gold medal is a just reward for all of her effort and dedication," says Mr James.

"There are many talented young athletes in the Greater Western Sydney region. Dani's great success on the world stage is sure to set an inspirational example for these junior athletes, and help them to believe that anything is possible - even winning a World Championship Gold Medal, while studying at University."



Media Officer

Danielle Roddick
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