CHARLES Sturt University's (CSU) first Rugby Ambassador, Cameron Treloar, is proof that higher education and professional sport are a good fit.
Originally from Cooma, Treloar ran on for the CSU NSW Country Eagles in the opening round of the new National Rugby Championship recently.
He's also studying the Associate Degree in Policing Practice, through CSU's School of Policing Studies in Goulburn.
After quitting university 11 years ago to pursue a career in professional rugby, Mr Treloar's now realised it's possible to do both.
"I'm making the most of having an interest outside of rugby that higher education brings and obviously studying policing there is a level of fitness that has to be maintained so continuing to play professional rugby makes that a lot easier."
Mr Treloar began his professional rugby career playing for the NSW Waratahs in 2005 before moving to the Queensland Reds in 2006 and then playing professionally in Italy and France.
"Playing in France, I had to fly back and forth in order to attend residential school weekends, which was exhausting. Having the chance to continue playing in Australia and having Charles Sturt University link up with our team is great."
Earlier this month, CSU announced a two-year partnership with NSW Country Eagles.
"Supporting a common team can unite both a student body and unite all the campuses of Charles Sturt University. I became an ambassador because I want that team to be the Charles Sturt University NSW Country Eagles," said Mr Treloar.
CSU Head of Corporate Affairs Mr Mark Burdack said, "As an ambassador for the sport and the University, Cameron Treloar is an example of what students from rural areas can achieve and the partnership with the Charles Sturt University NSW Country Eagles is another way we can provide opportunities to our regions and our students."
Mr Treloar believes rugby can provide opportunities in all walks of life, sporting, social and educational.
"Rugby is played by both men and women and is now an Olympic sport and is all inclusive of all shapes and sizes. This has benefits on the field but just and importantly of it building friendships that can last a lifetime," he said.
"Educationally, linking with a professional team like the Eagles can provide opportunities for students to be involved in aspects such as sport management, physiotherapy and media studies."