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Illawarra Sports High School

Illawarra Sports High School

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Talented Sports Program

Talented Sports & Development Program

About the Talented Sports and Development Program

Illawarra Sports High provides a supportive educational environment for talented athletes. As the only Sports High School south of Sydney, we currently have students enrolled from Helensburgh to Ulladulla. Illawarra Sports High School offers the Talented Sports and Development Program (TSDP) designed to provide students who excel in sports with elite coaching and an academic framework that enables them to reach both their academic and sporting goals.

The school provides an integrated curriculum that allows students to undertake specialised development programs without impacting on their academic studies. TSDP also provides students with an opportunity for students to hone their special talent and obtain a pathway to the Zone, Regional, State, National and International representation.

Olympic Pathway School

Illawarra Sports High is one of seven schools across NSW to be named as a designated Australian Olympic Pathway School.

The new partnership was announced by the NSW Government in February 2023, with the Australian Olympic Committee and will enable the seven schools to use the Olympic rings and other official branding in their promotional material.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the unique designation from the Australian Olympic Committee is an Australian first.

“Our seven Sports High Schools in NSW are the only secondary schools in Australia to have this prestigious recognition.

“This reflects the great strength of our sports high school network, and their excellent track record in fostering both sporting high performance and academic achievement. I can’t wait to see the next generation of medal-winning athletes coming from our public schools as we look to Brisbane 2032.”

The seven Sports High Schools in NSW receiving this recognition are Endeavour Sports High School, The Hills Sports High School, Hunter Sports High School, Illawarra Sports High School, Matraville Sports High School, Narrabeen Sports High School and Westfields Sports High School.

AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll said the Australian Olympic Pathway Schools designation is an important endorsement of the value of the sports high schools network in NSW.

“The key to sporting excellence is to align participation, pathways and high performance. To have this alignment at high school level is powerful, particularly as we look to Brisbane 2032 and beyond.

“We have seen Olympic Training Centres recognised around Australia and overseas, but never at the school level.”

Since Sydney 2000, the state’s Sports High Schools have produced 36 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Brandon Starc (Track and Field), Caitlin Foord (Football) and Amanda Reid (Swimming and Cycling – Paralympics).

ACPE Partnership

In partnership, the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) and the NSW Sports High School Association (SHSA) are pleased to design and deliver new programs and initiatives that support the overall development of students and provide a clear pathway to Higher Education.

Students will receive access to tailored resources designed by ACPE that aim to support and further their High School learning, delivered both online and in person across each of the seven Sporting Schools. In addition, students will have the opportunity to apply for a full Scholarship to study at ACPE and pursue a career in Sport, Dance, Health, Business or Physical Education. Commencing in Semester One 2022, two students will be selected from the applications submitted, on an annual basis for a scholarship to pursue a degree at ACPE.

ACPE CEO and Dean, Debbie Le Roux, said “This relationship goes to the heart of what drives ACPE.  It’s about having an impact, making a difference and providing learning opportunities to promote health and wellbeing as a holistic approach to developing resilience in the community.  ACPE has a proud legacy of more than 100 years in education in sport and we believe in the transformative power of education and sport.  We are excited to join forces with the NSW Sport High Schools Association to explore opportunities to do what we do best – providing transformative and supportive learning opportunities in sport for students, coaches and teachers.”   

SHSA President, Roger Davis, shared “The NSW Sports High Schools Association is very pleased to be entering into this partnership with the Australian College of Physical Education. We have known for many years that the Sports High School model where we offer high quality coaching in conjunction with an excellent education which is supported by a nurturing and supportive welfare system is world’s best practice. Even though the Sports High Schools have produced many athletes who have gone on to perform at the highest levels in world sport, this partnership will deliver a significant pathway for our students as they move from school to Tertiary Education. This partnership and in particular the scholarships will provide an excellent opportunity for Sports High School students to forge a career out of their commitment and passion for sport.”


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