How Georgie Barratt manages the ultimate balancing act

As a fencing athlete (who is supported by SASI’s Individual Athlete Program), Georgie Barratt is travelling the world to take on competitors from across the globe, most recently coming away with bronze medals from the Commonwealth Fencing Champions 2022 and DH McKenzie Tournament 2023.

When she’s not competing or training, Georgie is doing her PhD in Sport Science at the University of South Australia and in partnership with SASI. Adding to this, the 28-year-old also works on a casual basis as a Pilates instructor at KX Pilates. For National Careers Week (15 – 21 May 2023), we were interested to find out how Georgie is managing the ultimate balancing act, succeeding in her sport, work and studies simultaneously.

What are your career aspirations outside of sport?

I aspire to work as an applied sport scientist, to help other athletes through their sporting journey.

How important is it for elite athletes to balance their careers and sport?

I really enjoy balancing both a career and sport - lots of my close friends I have met through different jobs and workplaces. I always liked that when I went to work, I got to hang out with a different group of friends. It was also reassuring to know that when I decide to retire or if I get injured, I have something else that I enjoy, that can support me both during and after sport.

How do you maintain work/study while competing or on tour or in your daily training environment?

When I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, I studied part-time for most of it and I tried to be organised at the start of each semester and make sure my lecturers knew that I was going to be away and made sure I had extensions for any assignment all sorted before I left. During tours, I’ve always struggled to get much work done in between training, recovery, and the competitions, so I try to get any important work completed before going, so I can put all my focus onto my competition preparation. Nowadays doing my PhD, I take leave from study whenever I’m going on tour for a couple weeks, which just pauses my degree for that period of time. In my daily training environment, I find having a daily/weekly routine works best for balancing both, as well as being present and trying to focus on one thing at a time. For example, when I go to training, I’m present and focusing on what my goals are for that training session.

What are some of the skills you have developed through your sport that are transferrable to your career away from sport?

Skills including problem solving, being adaptable, and the ability to stay calm and focused in busy and stressful environments is very transferable into any career.

Can you share what you are enjoying about your current study or work?

I really enjoy working with different groups of people and I am always learning something new every day.

What’s a tip you could give other athletes thinking of studying, working, volunteering whilst still training and competing?

Find something you really enjoy or are passionate about and build a routine around your training that works for you.