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1st year US College Athlete has put plans on hold

Emma Olsen
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Ava playing football for the womens Eastern Suburbs club team  Ava Collins

A young and eager first-year US College Athlete was set to start university but doesn't think she'll be starting until at least next year

Ava Collins, 17, signed with St. John's University, New York, in November last year and was set to start this August, however, COVID-19 has disrupted her plans.

The St Cuthbert's College star footballer, who has played for New Zealand, was more than excited to fly over to the US and kick off her College football journey.

"I was frustrated, to say the least, because a lot of my mates had begun Uni about three months ago and I didn't want to put it off further than it already was.

"Fortunately, I hadn't had a set date to fly over to the US due to the Under 20 World Cup due to be played in August this year so it was dependent on the outcome of that tournament as to when I would depart to America." 

Ava is unsure when her new start date will be.

"I had to talk with my coach and he is as in the dark as anybody with when the virus will finish its course. New York...is one of the worst-hit states and doesn't show any signs of improvement yet so I'm hoping early next year." 

It was a scary time for everyone, with unprecedented circumstances that made it difficult to control, said Ava. 

"As athletes, we are taught to control the controllable but at the moment it feels as though little is really in our hands. But at the end of the day health is the priority so I've come to look at it as something that we should all learn from and hopefully we will come out of this better than ever."

In the meantime, Ava is continuing her training set by the Football Ferns Domestic Programme. She's trying to stay as fit and healthy as possible so that when everything does return to normal, she's ready to go.

"The one positive thing that has come out of this situation that I can think of is it is simply more time. More time to improve, more time to work on things.  You say 'oh if I just had the time I would learn this or practise that', so I guess that could be seen as a positive."

Ava's goal is to go as far as she can with her football and hopefully one day go pro if the opportunity arises. 

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Ava and her teammates celebrating their victory at the OFC U-19 Champs Ava Collins