Our elite athlete program helps you successfully complete your studies while training and competing at an elite level.

We recognise the challenges of combining elite sport with an academic workload and provide the support you need to be successful, on and off the field.

Our student athletes have competed at major local and international events, including the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the World University Games.

Leaders in sport

Victoria University is ranked number 12 in the world in sport science (Shanghai rankings, 2018–19).

As a leader in sport education, we offer the largest number of sport-related courses in Australia, spanning all areas of sport, exercise science and active living.

With over 140 registered student-athletes spanning 35 sports and a range of courses across all VU Colleges and Polytechnic, many of our student-athletes have competed at major local and international events, including the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, world championships, World University Games, and as part of national championships and leagues.

Elite students can take advantage of our $68 million Sport and Learning Precinct at Footscray Park Campus which boasts the latest technology and sport & fitness equipment.

World-class research

Our human movement and sport science research received the highest rating of 5 in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia assessment.

Support for elite student athletes

VU is a member of the Australian Sports Commission's Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network and recognises the challenges students face when combining elite sport with an academic workload.

Our athlete support program gives you access to support and special study arrangements so you can balance your study with your training and competition demands.

Special arrangements can include:

  • course and unit advice
  • course mapping and timetabling assistance
  • alternative exams
  • assessment deadline negotiations
  • cross-institutional study assistance.

In addition to academic and pathway support, VU’s recognised elite student-athletes have free access to the Footscray Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre as well as fitness centres located at the St Albans and Werribee campuses to assist with training and time management.

 Elite student athlete Harry Laidlaw at Unisport Nationals Snow

Olympian and Bachelor of Paramedicine student, Harry Laidlaw. Gold medal run at the 2018 Unisport Nationals Snow, Mt Buller.

Sport scholarships

We have three sport scholarships available to current students:

Our sport scholarships assist outstanding VU athletes and emerging student athletes in their aim to participate in elite level sport.

They help with financial and in-kind support for competition and training fees, international travel and University representation, as well as access to fitness centres and health clinics.

If you would like to support the scholarships program, you can make an online donation today.


To be recognised as an elite student athlete, and receive special support, you must be a member of at least one of these sporting organisations or teams:

  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • State Institutes or Academies of Sport
  • AFL Players' Association
  • Australian Cricketers' Association
  • Rugby Union Players' Association
  • Rugby League Professionals' Association
  • Australian Professional Footballers' Association
  • State or National squad and league members from Australian Sports Commission (ASC) supported sports (including athletes who have qualified for national championships).

VU provided an environment and facilities to prepare marathon runner and student, Liam Adams, for the Rio Olympics.

Read Liam's story.

Apply for the elite student athlete program

To be recognised as one of our elite student athletes, please take the following steps:

  1. Complete an Elite Athlete support application form

    Applications must include supporting documentation from a relevant state or national sporting organisation. 

  2. Meet with the University's Elite Athlete Contact Officer, Scott Cashmere.

    Where: VU Sport Office, Room L011, building L, Level 0 Footscray Park Campus.
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: +61 3 9919 4433.

  3. Identify any potential clashes with your study and sporting commitments

    Read each of your course unit outlines carefully. Speak with your coaches and/or institute ACE Advisors about existing and upcoming (including potential) sporting commitments.

  4. Make an appointment with your Course and Unit Advisor

    They are the first point of contact if you need administrative assistance and can create a study plan around your sporting commitments and resolve timetable issues.

Dual Paralympian and Diploma of Remedial Massage graduate, Todd Hodgetts, competed in major shotput competitions while on an elite athlete scholarship at VU.

ATAR adjustment for high performance sport participants

Current Year 12 students participating in high level sport (players, coaches and officials) can receive an adjustment of 5 ATAR points towards your Selection Rank for courses that consider the ATAR as part of the selection process.

These extra points are part of the maximum adjustment points allowed (20 ATAR points overall) including eligible Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS), subject adjustments and other ATAR adjustment schemes.

Please note that our Bachelor of Education (P-12) is exempt from this bonus.

To be eligible for the high performance sport bonus you must be involved in an Australian Sports Commission (ASC) recognised sport. You must also be:

  • recognised by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) or professional player's association; or
  • a member of a national senior squad from a Performance Excellence (PE) support sport; or
  • in a state or national level squad in open or age level competition; or
  • in a state or national level development squad; or
  • a coach or referee within state, national or international level competitions.

Contact us

Scott Cashmere
Sport Services Manager
Phone: +61 3 9919 4433
Email: [email protected]