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Surf's up for secondary school students

Victoria University, in partnership with Sports Education and Development Australia (SEDA), has added surfing to the list of sports that secondary school students aspiring to a sports career can focus on, in a unique completion alternative to VCE or VCAL.

The program, run in conjunction with Surfing Victoria, will begin in 2010 and be based in Jan Juc. Besides learning to surf, students will study the history of surfing, event management, coaching, fitness, leadership, sports nutrition and psychology.

Launched last year, the Sport Development Program now includes about 500 Victorian students in Years 10, 11 or 12 in various courses based around a particular sport – football, cricket, tennis, netball, surfing, soccer, or aquatics.

The curriculum prepares students for careers in sports administration, sports marketing, facility management, coaching or sports media.

On completion of the full-time course, graduates receive their VCE or VCAL and a Diploma of Sport Development, with additional qualifications in first-aid, coaching, marketing and refereeing.

They also have direct pathways to VU’s higher education courses, including sport physiology, exercise rehabilitation or recreation management.

Jo van Son, Head of VU’s School of Sport and Science, said the program offered a different way of engaging students in education.

“Students wear a uniform and use a supplied laptop – the same as many secondary schools students – but they receive invaluable practical training and experience during their studies.”

About 40 per cent of the program includes the same theory-based studies as a regular school, but often, with a sports focus. They may look at sports’ statistics for maths assignments, for example, or study films and books about sport for language analysis.

The other 60 per cent is applied learning, conducted in partnership with peak sporting associations.

Students in the surfing program may find themselves helping with the Rip Curl Pro. While students in other areas may be running AFL clinics on the MCG; coordinating a state swimming carnival; managing soccer programs for primary school children; teaching yachting skills to people with a disability at Albert Park Lake; working with event managers from Cricket Victoria; assisting Tennis Victoria with tennis coaching school programs; or promoting netball carnivals with Netball Victoria.

Students are selected by application and interview. Acceptance does not depend on sporting ability.

For more information, visit or call 9819 9669, or call VU’s School of Sport and Science on (03) 9919 5580

Media contact:

Ann Marie Angebrandt,

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 5487; mobile: 0403 556 001

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