A passionate softball player since the age of eight, Victorian student-athlete Meaghan Grah is now taking her talent to the next level.
Having played the diamond sport for the majority of her childhood, Meaghan will now become an ‘Indian’ at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida for the next four years.
The change of scenery from Melbourne to sunny Florida has Meaghan eagerly anticipating her future adventure.
Before she entered the States in late August, Meaghan and her mother, Julie were overcome with emotions about Meaghan’s new pathway as a student-athlete at college in the US.
“I’m very, very excited but a bit scared too because I’ll be on my own!” Meaghan said anxiously.
“It will start to become real in the next few weeks, it won’t just be a thought anymore,” she said.
Through this exciting process Meaghan has had contact with her coach and future softball mentor, who has helped her through the paperwork and procedures needed to become an international student-athlete in America.
Meaghan’s mother, Julie confessed her nerves about sending her eldest daughter overseas on her own for the first time, but also expressed her enthusiasm at seeing all of Meaghan’s hard work pay off and earn her an incredible future pathway.
“I’m feeling excited but also a little bit sad. She’s trained hard to get to this point; a huge amount of travelling has been put in as well.
“She was only 8 when she started playing, it’s been exciting watching her play. When she gets out on that diamond it’s like here we go! There have been lots of injuries, lots of tears but lots of fun too. Obviously I am very proud,” Julie said.
A future at a US college as a student-athlete is something that is rather new to the Grah family, and is certainly something that Meaghan hadn’t considered in her history as a softball athlete.
“I hadn’t even thought about it, I didn’t think I would get there but motivation and determination got me here!
“It has only been in the last two years where my coach started talking to me about it and said I could end up over there,” Meaghan said.
“Once she started believing in herself, rather than saying I can’t do that or I can’t do this. We just decided that ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary. Now it’s; we can do this and we will do this, and we’ve done it!” Meaghan’s mother, Julie said.
The Melbourne athlete is extremely grateful to have her mother behind her 100% in this process and says that support is something that has helped her pursue this opportunity.
“It means everything to have the family support behind me, I don’t know where I would be without them, it means heaps,” Meaghan said.
The U.S. college system is designed in a way that Meaghan will have some time to explore her study options before she chooses a major, but she is considering studying something in the health/science area.
Taking the chance to explore the student-athlete pathway for the next four years, Meaghan is overwhelmed with excitement about what the future may hold for her.
“It’s a huge opportunity, you get to travel as well and study in another country while experiencing a new culture. I just want to have the experience of playing internationally!” she said.
Although Julie will miss her daughter, she is equally as excited as Meaghan to get this process underway.
“She’s excited to go over there and start this new journey of her life!” Julie said.