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 world number 7 for sport science education (ShanghaiRankings).

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.

Academic support for elite student athletes

VU is a proud member of the Elite Athlete Education Network and recognises the challenges students face when combining elite sport with an academic workload.

Our athlete support program gives you access to support special study arrangements and course flexibility 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.

Financial support

Financial support is available to all eligible elite student-athletes. It includes:

  • Free access to our fitness centres at Footscray Park (including swimming pool), St Albans and Werribee campuses, helping athletes with training costs and also with time management in balancing study and sport.
  • Complimentary or discounted access to VU Health Clinics (osteopathy, massage, exercise rehabilitation).
  • Elite travel grants for major international competitions.
  • Subsidy to represent VU at UniSport Nationals.

Sport scholarships (available to current VU students only) are currently closed, but are under review for 2021. Our scholarships for elite student athletes are:

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

 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.


Students can apply if they are competing in a national or international level of competition and endorsed by one of the following organisations:

  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • State institutes or academies of Sport
  • Australian Basketballer's Association
  • 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 Sport Australia supported sports (including athletes who have qualified for national championships).
  • Senior/head coaches from state and territory institutes/academies of sport, national teams from Sport Australia funded sports or participating professional sports.

Athletes are required to provide a letter of support from their state/national governing body to endorse their status as an elite athlete.

The Australian Sports Directory provides a list of national sporting organisations recognised by Sport Australia.

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 the Elite Athlete Program online application. Applications must include supporting documentation from a relevant state or national sporting organisation.

    Apply for the Program

  2. Meet with the University's Elite Athlete Program Coordinator, Scott Cashmere.

    Where: Online
    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 HLT52015 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 (athletes, 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.

Apply to receive an ATAR adjustment

You can apply to receive an ATAR adjustment as part of your application for the Elite Athlete Program.

Apply for the Elite Athlete Program, including ATAR adjustment.

Contact us

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