Elite Athletes in Schools Program clears the bar

August 13 / 116

Students from the University’s Elite Athletes in Schools Program visited Brunswick Secondary College on 1 August to give advice to prospective university students.

The program gives secondary school students the opportunity to hear University athletes speak about their achievements and experiences, and learn about what it takes to be successful academically, in the sporting arena, and in life.

The University participants shared their experiences and offered advice on how to manage a busy schedule, using examples of personal experiences relevant to students entering their final years of secondary school.

Student athlete Tom Swallow said the experience was very positive.

“I believe the kids really got involved in the program. The fact that I myself am only a few years older than the audience really allowed for a casual, open atmosphere,” he said.

“I discussed the notion of balance. The message is although school is obviously paramount, from my own experience, keeping other aspects of your life going is not only important, but it actually supports a well-balanced lifestyle.”

Schools can book a date and time for two elite athletes from the University to speak to students. Schools may be eligible to access this program for free.

Mr Swallow said there were also discussions about university generally.

“I remember when I was coming to the end of my schooling, I really had no idea about what university was really like, apart from some anecdotes from teachers,” he said.

“I started playing for the University club while still at school. The volleyball program at St Bernard's College was linked with Melbourne University Renegades, and this was great for my development.

“It meant I was able to train with some of the senior, more experienced guys at a young age. I remember I always loved training at the University itself, such an inspiring experience for someone still at school.”

Mr Swallow shared some of his advice: “Always try to improve one small thing each session. Even though it may be one small skill, when you're training many times a week this definitely adds up.”

For more information on the Elite Athletes in Schools program, go to: http://www.sport.unimelb.edu.au/EliteAthlete/SchoolPrograms.html.

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