A Winning Combination: Lora Ziller Balances Law Studies with Competitive Sports

Thanks to a special support program, Lora Ziller can pursue her law degree while also taking part in competitive karate.

Lora Ziller, photo credit: Martin Kremser (Director of Sports, Karate Austria)
Lora Ziller, photo credit: Martin Kremser (Director of Sports, Karate Austria)

High-performance sports or pursue an academic degree? Why not both? Lora Ziller not only won U21 gold at the European Karate Championships, she is also studying law at the JKU as part of the Multi-Media law degree program. We spoke with her and asked how she manages to make it all work.

Why did you decide to study law at the JKU?
Lora Ziller: I chose to pursue law at the JKU because the Multi-Media program gives me the flexibility I need and I can study independently without time and location constraints. This is, of course, ideal for me as I have a rigid training schedule and under normal circumstances, I travel a lot.

How long have you been involved in karate and what do you like about it?
Lora Ziller: I have been doing karate since I was 7 years old, meaning it’s now been 14 years already. It is very multifaceted and there are always new challenges. Each match is different and the exhilaration of standing on the competition mat and trying to be better than you were before is simply indescribable.

What are the KADA program benefits?
Lora Ziller: The KADA program provided support in helping me decide on a prospective career and has shown me how to balance academic studies and competitive sports. They help me coordinate my schedules and also provide some financial aid.

Would you recommend the law degree program as well as the KADA program to others?
Lora Ziller: Most definitely! I truly enjoy the law degree program and, as already mentioned, thanks to the flexibility, I can continue to pursue my passion of high-performance sports with few academic constraints. Thanks to the KADA program, it’s been easier to balance my studies and karate. I highly recommend KADA and working with its friendly, dedicated staff.

What are you planning to do with your degree?
Lora Ziller: I have always been very interested in the law. After graduating high school, I decided to pursue professional sports and have been a member of the police's high-performance sports squad ever since. I think that my studies and my future profession complement each other well.

What is more difficult: Winning gold at the European Championship or completing a degree?
Lora Ziller: (laughs) That’s a hard question... I think that in regard to both areas I can reach my limits but still keep striving to do better. I think as long as I enjoy it all and keep my goals in mind, nothing is impossible or too difficult.

High-performance sport can be very time-consuming - how do you manage to balance it all?
Lora Ziller: There are times when I spend more time on my studies and other times when I focus more on karate. I basically study alongside my training. While it can be difficult at times when I am focused more on tournaments, I have now learned to use travel time constructively and I study when on planes, trains, etc. Often times, studying also serves as a good distraction to focus on other topics of interest aside from sports.

NEWS 02.04.2021