The Raise the Bar Academy is a new, joint initiative between Athletics Australia and Melbourne University Sport to provide indigenous school students from around Australia a chance to discover the pathways to studying and participation through high performance sport.
Athletics Australia’s Indigenous Participation Coordinator Bridgid Junot said the Academy was aimed at helping Indigenous Australians to turn their love of sport into a career, as well as encouraging them to complete secondary school and pursue tertiary studies.
“This is a new initiative on behalf of Athletics Australia’s Athletics for the Outback program, and we hope it will become an annual event that Indigenous students can look forward to”. said Junot. “It will be a great way for kids to get on track to start the school year right, be inspired by peers just like themselves, meet new friends, and learn from some of Australia’s best athletes who are excelling in all areas of their lives, not just in the sports arena.
“Academy participants will have the chance to explore their leadership potential and discover how to pursue a university education at Australia’s leading academic and research Institution,” Junot said.
Starting Monday, 35 Indigenous students will spend a week at the University with Elite Athlete role models such Commonwealth Games team member Alex Rowe and Australian Boat Race star Hedda Cooper who will share their experiences of balancing academic study and sporting commitments.
The free program consists of a four-day summer residence camp at the University of Melbourne. Participants will develop new skills in athletics coaching, sports media training, and community sports events management. In addition to skill based activities, students will be provided with opportunities to connect directly with sports industry professionals and some of Australia’s best athletes.