With his father having played professional ice hockey, Brett Beukeboom always had sport coursing through his veins. But with the support of Plymouth University behind him, he hopes to take his competitive edge to the next level and pull on his national shirt at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Growing up in Ontario, Canada, Brett’s primary sport was ice hockey but as he progressed through the school and college system, he began to play rugby in hockey’s off season.
His skills were soon picked up by national coaches, who selected him to play for the Canadian Under-17 team – from that moment, all his other sports were pushed to the background.
Now balancing his studies for a degree in history with playing for Plymouth Albion, Brett is under no illusion that a Sporting Excellence Scholarship can make a huge difference to his life, now and in the future.
"When I first arrived in Plymouth the first thing I noticed was the University and I decided if I were to stay here that I would like to attend. The University’s support will allow me to focus solely on rugby and studying during the 2013/2014 year, without having to worry about the financial difficulties of University."
With that support in place, Brett has launched himself into the hectic programme of training and studying needed to balance a professional sporting career with full-time studying. Most days start at 7.30am with training until 2pm, after which there are several hours to study, but having previously been at the University of Victoria it is a routine he has easily slipped into.
So what of his aspirations for the future?
"My goal for rugby is to help Plymouth Albion finish in the top six, although a top four finish would be great as it would put us in the promotion playoffs. After that, I hope my performances will earn me a place in the 2015 Canadian Rugby World Cup squad. As far as studying goals, I would like to achieve a high academic mark on my dissertation and graduate from Plymouth University."