Hockey star in the making finds new learning zone

Gold Coast hockey prodigy Morgan Mathison will start a Bachelor of Education at Griffith University in 2018.
Gold Coast hockey prodigy Morgan Mathison will start a Bachelor of Education at Griffith University in 2018.

When she dares to glimpse her future, Gold Coast hockey prodigy Morgan Mathison dreams of representing her country on the Olympic stage, maybe even captaining the Hockeyroos someday. The talented field hockey midfielder took a small but significant step towards this goal as 2017 closed when she was called into the Australian under 21 hockey squad for a training camp in Canberra.

When considering her future career, the 17-year-old also has a clear picture of where this may lie. She sees herself before a classroom of Grade 10 students teaching mathematics someday. As 2018 opens its doors, Morgan has also taken a significant step in that direction after accepting offer to study a Bachelor of Education at Griffith University.

“When I was young, and thought about what I wanted to be, it was always a teacher,” she says. “In high school it faded off a little bit and I started thinking about everything else I could do. For a while I thought about engineering, medicine and physio but it always came back to teaching and that’s what I really want to do.”

Cool and inviting

Morgan, whose mum was a high school teacher, is excited by the prospect of studying education at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus which captured her imagination when she toured it with Marymount High School earlier in 2017. “It’s just really cool and inviting. I’ve been to a few others but it was always the one that stood out for me.”

The support she could potentially secure through the Griffith Sports College was also a draw card for Morgan, prompting her to apply for membership. She is eager to balance her sporting endeavours with university studies going forward. “A lot of people will take a year off and focus on sport (after high school) but I’m someone who if I’m not busy all the time I won’t get anything done. I see what the Griffith Sports College could do for you and it’s just incredible, and it would help so much, particularly with organisation.”

Morgan was among a select group of high school students on the Gold Coast to be awarded a Griffith University School Sports Award in recognition of their sporting achievements during high school. The annual prize incorporates a certificate and $200 bursary.

Australian dream

Morgan comes from a hockey family. Her mother and father met through hockey and each of her three siblings also play the sport. Her own passion for the sport took hold from the age of four in Gladstone. Her older sister Lindsay is studying at University of California: Berkeley on a hockey scholarship.

Morgan initially mixed field hockey with lifesaving, swimming, gymnastics, touch football and one tennis lesson until hockey started to chrystallise as her strong suit around the age of 13. She had made her first Queensland team aged 11 and has gone on to captain her state at different age groups.

In 2015 she started training with the Queensland Academy of Sport before most recently being called into the Australia under 21 development squad. For the year ahead, she also has her sights set on the Queensland Scorchers, the state’s premier hockey team.

“I’ve always loved the sport and I’ve always wanted to play for Australia. I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. But it’s hard to know if you actually will. But it’s becoming more realistic for me, obviously not in the near future, but hopefully someday. I know that if I keep working hard it’s possible.”