Hi my name is Ornella Walker, I am a student at THTI and I’m studying Hospitality Studies.
Tell us a bit about your lifestyle as an athlete.
Ornella Walker – I am a national swimmer and I have been competitively swimming for over ten years. My most outstanding achievement being a national swimmer is holding the national record for the 100m Backstroke. I am holding this record for approximately three years now, so I pride myself alot about this.
How has your student journey been thus far at THTI?
Ornella Walker – Well, I began at THTI in 2020 during Covid so most of my time here has been online, which was not much of an issue because it was easier to manage with training, however, we started back in person classes. Some are really exciting, some are a little bit strenuous but overall I do enjoy it here at THTI.
What is the most challenging aspect/s of establishing a balance between being an athlete and student?
Ornella Walker – The most challenging aspect of balancing being a student and an athlete is the financial part, as I do not have much time to work. With training eight times a week, coming to classes during the day it takes up alot if my time and part time work is not the easiest to find. Secondly, it is very draining, I am tired most of the time and taking vitamins is difficult because I forget. So those are the most difficult aspects of balancing being both.
What are your aspirations with this degree in Hospitality Studies?
Ornella Walker – With this degree I do hope to gain experience first in the Hospitality Industry and then eventually I would like to open my own Eco Resort.
Do you have any advice for persons interested in following in your footsteps?
Ornella Walker – For persons following my footsteps my advice to you is to find a good balance between training and school because time will run away from you fast and procrastination is not the best plan. Secondly, a very strong support system helps as your mental health can be a bit draining during all this time you put into school as well as training, so , you do need a good support system to pick you up when you feel down.
Ornella Walker – Im Ornella Walker and this has been my journey so far.