This year Girrawheen Senior High School launched its new Elite Sports Program in partnership with Curtin University Athletics Club to use sport as a basis for improving all areas of learning.
The program develops students’ competitive spirit and passion for self-improvement by focusing on three pillars: Fitness and Training, Growth Mindset and Personal Best.
To join the program students do not have to be the best performing sports person, they just need to have a passion for sport and a drive to improve on their recorded benchmarks.
Tracking of personal academic achievement is embedded into the program, giving students ambition for high growth and achievement.
The idea for the program was developed by former Girrawheen Senior High School physical education teacher now principal Barbara Newton, after seeing many students achieve success when engaged through sport.
Physical education teacher Adam Clarke worked with Ms Newton on the development and is program manager, specialising in skills development and basketball gameplay.
The program includes weekly practical sessions before school in athletics and basketball, with athletics coached by Curtin University Athletics Club to teach technique backed by science to improve athletics performance and fitness.
Students track their personal growth and performance daily in areas including attendance, effort, academic achievement and improvement as well as personal bests achieved in practical sessions.
Olympic basketballer and program patron Duop Reath is a graduate of Girrahween Senior High School and a source of motivation and invaluable advice to program members.
He learnt the fundamentals of basketball at school from Mr Clarke, before winning a scholarship to study and play college basketball in America.
He won an Olympic Bronze Medal playing with the Boomers at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and currently plays for the Illawarra Hawks.
Ms Newton said a new wave of motivated students can been seen despite the program only being in the early stages of the rollout.
“The healthy competition amongst those in the program to achieve daily points has translated into improvements in attendance,” she said.
“Practical sessions before school followed by breakfast are resulting in a group of energised students with increased ability to focus throughout the day.”
The launch of the program coincides with works set to begin soon on a million-dollar school oval upgrade, providing levelling, reticulation and new turf to deliver a 400m track and exciting physical education opportunities for all children.
Applications are now open for the 2023 Elite Sports Program.
Year 7’s beginning high school in 2023 can apply through their enrolment application and interested Year 6’s can familiarise themselves with the program and high school through an eight week Pre-Elite Sports Program which runs in Term 4.
Published in PerthNow Wanneroo/Joondalup and PerthNow Stirling digital on 26/05/2022
image: Olympic basketballer, program patron and Girrawheen Senior High School alumni Duop Reath with students.