Girrawheen Secondary School launches elite sports program

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This year Girrawheen High School launched its new elite sports program in partnership with the Curtin University Athletics Club to use sports as a foundation 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 best self.

To join the program, students do not need to be the most successful athletes, they simply need to have a passion for the sport and a drive to improve their recorded benchmarks.

Tracking personal academic achievement is built into the program, giving students the ambition for high growth and achievement.

The idea for the program was developed by former Girrawheen High School physical education teacher, now principal Barbara Newton, after seeing many students achieve success when playing sports.

PE teacher Adam Clarke worked with Ms Newton on the development and is the program manager, specializing in basketball skill development and gameplay.

The program includes weekly practice sessions before school in athletics and basketball, with athletics coached by the Curtin University Athletics Club to teach science-backed technique to improve athletic performance and fitness .

Students track daily their personal growth and performance in areas such as attendance, effort, academic achievement and improvement, as well as personal bests in practice sessions.

The Olympic basketball player and sponsor of the Duop Reath program is a graduate of Girrahween Senior High School and a source of motivation and invaluable advice for program members.

Camera iconDuop Reath, Olympic basketball player, sponsor of the program and alumnus of Girrawheen High School, with students. Credit: provided

He learned the basics of basketball in school from Mr. Clarke, before winning a scholarship to study and play college basketball in America.

He won an Olympic bronze medal while 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 be seen although the scheme is only in the early stages of rolling out.

“Healthy competition among program participants for daily points has resulted in improved attendance,” she said.

“Practical before school sessions followed by breakfast results in an energized group of students with an increased ability to focus throughout the day.”

The launch of the program coincides with work set to begin soon on a million dollar school oval upgrade, providing grading, reticulation and new turf to provide a 400m track and exciting physical education opportunities for all children.

Applications are now open for the 2023 Elite Sports Program.

7th graders starting high school in 2023 can apply through their application and interested 6th graders can learn about the program and high school through an eight-week pre-elite sports program that takes place at fourth trimester.

For more information on how to apply, visit the website or call 9247 0555.

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