Ahead of the game
LAU is one of the few universities in Lebanon to offer athletic scholarships.
LAU offers some of the most prestigious athletic scholarships in the region, helping the best student athletes realize their full potential.
The scholarships, usually 15 per cent of tuition but rising to 25 per cent in exceptional circumstances, can be combined with other forms of financial aid. To top it off, LAU grants two additional scholarships to distinguished “Athletes of the Year”. Approximately ten new scholarships per campus are offered every year.
The university has an enviable history of athletic successes. LAU Byblos’ men’s basketball team has won Lebanon’s annual University Sports Conference competition three years in a row, the first university to do so. LAU teams have also been decorated several times over in swimming, tennis and soccer, to name just a few.
“We have always been at the forefront of national athletics and scholarships are an important incentive for students to dedicate themselves and to give their all,” says Sami Garabedian, director of Athletics on the Beirut campus.
Many graduates have gone on to pursue professional careers in their chosen sport and participate in international competitions. “We’re recruiting Olympians,” says Joe Moujaes, director of Athletics on the Byblos campus. Indeed, LAU helped prepare alumna Karen Chammas, who represented Lebanon at the London Olympic Games in 2012, and anticipates supporting other future Olympians.
Hani Chehimi, a senior in marketing, received LAU’s Athlete of the Year award in 2013 following victories at the Inter-University Championships in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Muay Thai (Thai Boxing). “The instructor here, Sami Kiblawi, is the best Muay Thai trainer in the Arab region and has a renowned MMA team, who together with my longtime kickboxing/MMA coach Riad Al-Kamand, have helped me achieve both competitive and personal goals,” he says.
To further cement LAU’s reputation as a hub for sporting excellence, plans are underway to build a state-of-the-art athletics complex at the Byblos campus. This will comprise a green field and outdoor track, two indoor sports facilities, tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool and a gym/weights room.
Sports facilities have also been revamped on the Beirut campus, with the basketball courts resurfaced and the old fitness center renovated into an ultra-modern gym at the Wadad Said Khoury Student Center, where a new multi-purpose dance studio and activities rooms were also recently inaugurated.
Kim Sadi, a third year pharmacy student and award-winning athlete, says her 25 per cent scholarship motivates her to excel in sports and studies. “LAU makes sure that playing doesn’t get in the way of our academic obligations,” she said. “Training with the volleyball team and playing tennis is a really fun way to relax and creates a healthy atmosphere for studying.”