(Reuters) – When Norway’s Karina Saevik is not busy training or helping her country progress at the women’s World Cup, she can be found with her head buried in books as she juggles academics and soccer.
Saevik, who is studying to be a teacher, is one among a number of Norwegian players who have academic pursuits and are determined to make the most of their time off in France.
Defender Synne Skinnes Hansen is a student of mathematics and physics at Oslo University while goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand is studying sports management.
“Most days at home we train in the late afternoon so I study in the morning,” Saevik, 23, told. “But sometimes we train at 10 in the morning and three in the afternoon, so I do it between training sessions.
“If I get the chance to be a full-time professional I can postpone my studies. I’ll stay in school as long as I can, but if I have to choose, I’ll prioritise the football.”
Norway, champions in 1995, are through to the last 16 at the World Cup following wins over Nigeria and South Korea in the group stage, which means that Saevik has missed a number of classes as the Scandinavian team prepare for the knockout round.
“Luckily I have a few friends in my class who can help me out when I haven’t been to lectures myself,” she added.
“And my teachers have been very good in terms of helping me, moving things around and fixing things for me.”
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)