July 2022, Case Studies

Athlete case study: Prime Minister’s Scholarships - Rosa Flanagan

An unhealthy relationship with food was a key trigger for retired track athlete Rosa Flanagan in her choice of study with her PM’s scholarship.

A Bachelor in Applied Science majoring in Human Nutrition has not only helped Rosa turn her own relationship with food around, but enabled her to establish Two Raw Sisters with sister Margo which aims to help people enjoy a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

“The course through Ara Institute of Canterbury was perfect.  It was very practical and highly flexible allowing me to train and compete whether in New Zealand or overseas plus there was always the guidance and reassurance from my HPSNZ Performance Life coach,” says Rosa.

“As part of placement in year 1 and 2 of my course I worked with my HPSNZ nutritionist to learn the importance of fuelling your body with the right fuel, the consequences of what happens if you don’t (which I was having to face first hand as I was struggling with disordered eating) and learning about all of the essential processes that go on in our body.”

In just three years Rosa and Margo, who also had a number of health issues, have recently published their fourth cookbook, have developed a website, set up a kitchen in Christchurch for local workshops and undertake two to three tours each year around New Zealand.  

“We’ve developed an app which allows people to access more than 200 recipes, meal plans and shopping lists.  This year we have also started working with the team at Life Education Trust and 5+ A Day with mission to educate tamariki on how to include more fruit and vegetables into their daily lives, through hosting workshops at over 90 schools around the country.” 

Rosa says she put her heart and soul into sport and literally lived and breathed athletics.  

“I became obsessed with my sport in a bad way so study was a good way for me mentally and physically to stimulate my brain and help me set up a career post competitive sport.

Rosa Flanagan at a fruit market

“People loving hearing about our journey and experiences which they find very relatable in a highly practical way.

“I couldn’t have done it without the PM’s Scholarship and now it is awesome to be able to help other people on their journey to healthy living.”

About the Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme

Prime Minister’s Scholarships support athletes, coaches, support team members and officials to gain educational or professional qualifications while continuing in sport.

Established by the Government in 2000 to help New Zealand’s elite athletes pursue tertiary study while developing in their sport, the programme has evolved to include scholarship categories for coaches in 2002, officials in 2005 and support team members in 2006.

The programme is administrated by HPSNZ.