How A Thriving Young Showjumper Balances School Work

By Anoop Bhuller

1 month ago

Yes, you can have both - thrive as a young athlete and get academic qualifications

Minerva Virtual Academy pupil, William Eustace, is successfully balancing his school work with his showjumping career.

Mainstream school wasn’t a suitable fit for William who has been riding since he was eight. Therefore his parents decided to seek out alternative schools.

His mother, Charlotte said: ‘That’s when we broke with convention and enrolled William with Minerva’s Virtual Academy (MVA), and I have to say, I wouldn’t want to go back.’

MVA Showjumper, William Eustace (Photographer: Rob Bayes)

MVA Showjumper, William Eustace (Photographer: Rob Bayes)

William has joined a cohort of 100 elite young sportspeople who have joined the school in the last two years, ranging from drivers to some of Britain’s best ski-racers.

‘One of the wonderful things about online schooling is that William can ride during the day. If I look back to previous years, as soon as the clocks changed and it was dark, it was game over. Having the ability to take William out in the day, whether it’s hacking, or training with his instructor, he’s really pushed forward.’

In the near future, William has the National’s in his sights this summer and wants to compete for the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA).

Sol Rolls-Tyson, a former professional basketballer was hired by MVA to mentor the school’s emerging sports stars. He says: ‘Having spent two years at university in the US playing basketball at the very top level I know only too well the challenges that come with balancing education with a gruelling training schedule. But I also saw how far ahead the US is when it comes to supporting young athletes to thrive both academically and within their sport, helping them to find a balance between the two.’