The Women's Team - Featuring a JKU Athlete - Wins Bronze in Karate

A successful performance at the European Universities Games: Lara Hinterseer brought home a bronze medal.

Lara Hinterseer at a tournament; photo credit: personal
Lara Hinterseer at a tournament; photo credit: personal

The team (including JKU students) advanced to the semifinals, but were then defeated by their Ukrainian opponents. In the battle for bronze, however, JKU students Lara Hinterseer, Lejla Topalovic, and Rebecca Gehrer defeated the Finnish team from Turku University 2:0. Lara Hinterseer spoke about competing for 3rd place: "After losing in the semifinals, we really wanted to earn a medal and reward ourselves for doing well in the preliminary rounds. Indeed, we had respect for Finns, but we performed well as a team. I think we also showed the determination to win this medal on the mat and fought until the end."

Lara Hinterseer is part of the KADA sports development program. We spoke with her about how she balances her studies with competitive sports.

Why did you decide to major in sociology at the JKU?
Lara Hinterseer: My training base is in Linz so it was obvious that I would enroll at the JKU. Sociology appealed to me most in terms of content and it complements my police training.

How long have you been involved in karate and what do you enjoy about it?
Lara Hinterseer: I have been actively involved in karate for the past 16 years and thanks to the police sports squad, I have been professional for the past four years. The thing I enjoy most is the versatility you have to show, especially for Kumite.

What has the KADA program done for you?
Lara Hinterseer: Particularly during my senior year at school, KADA helped a lot by providing an overview of various career options and showing me what’s possible. In college, KADA has helped me coordinate competitions, my training schedule, and my university schedule.

Can you recommend the degree program as well as the KADA program to others?
Lara Hinterseer: I highly recommend KADA! It is a great organization, especially for young athletes, providing you with new career perspectives and serving as a reliable partner.

What are you planning to do with your degree?
Lara Hinterseer: I'm part of the police's top sports squad and currently still in training. When I'm done, in the future, I want to start a career as a police officer and try to combine that with my sociology degree.

What is more difficult: training for a tournament or earning a degree?
Lara Hinterseer: I think studying is more difficult because lectures and classes are full of new things to learn. When training for a European championship, everything is similar to the rest of the year, but it’s just more intense.

Competitive sports are very time-consuming; how do you balance it all?
Lara Hinterseer: It's difficult at times, especially when class times overlap with my training schedule. This is why I can only finish a few courses each semester. Things were a bit easier for me during the pandemic when classes were online. Right now, I am more focused on the sport but my studies balance it all out.