A GATTON swimmer is living out the opportunity of a lifetime, taking up a full ride scholarship to an American university based on her swimming talents.
Jess Reinhardt, 18, is set to leave for Liberty University in Virginia where she will train with and represent the university as part of its swim team and a student studying business.
Reinhardt will be Liberty's first international swimmer, an honour she was more than willing to take up.
"It will be a different way of training, and very different to swimming in Australia. Also because my dad has been my coach it will be different again," she said.
"I will be competing as part of a team against other universities and by the time I have been there six months the coach said I would have seen most of the south of the USA. It's going to be full on and intense, but I am so excited.
"I have only ever swum in front of about 3000 people at the most in Australia, so it's hard to imagine being at the pool and looking up to see about 10,000 people watching, which is what they normally get at the inter-college meets almost every weekend."
After she was identified to scouts via coaches in Brisbane, Jess was given the choice of several universities in the States but ended up going with Liberty because of its coach Jake Shellenberger and the location.
"I think they were interested in my profile as a swimmer and the fact that I had swum two Olympic trials and done well in the Schools Nationals when I was in Year 12," she said.
"I swam 1:01.71 in the 100m fly in the Queensland State Championships."
Reinhardt said she started swimming before she could walk and still finds it enjoyable.
"I still love swimming and I have to be sure of that because it's what I will be doing for the next four years," she said.
"I am going to get a lot out of this. I want to get a degree, be part of a team and I want to see how much I can improve over the next four years.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how different the coaching is because this coach is a sprint coach, so I'm looking forward to working with him."
Reinhardt thanked the Gatton Swimming Club, family and her coach and father David Reinhardt for their support and guidance in her swimming career.