Elite Sports Performers Program

  • Elite Sports Performers Program (4)
  • ESP Quote Jamie_Macmillan
  • Elite Sports Performers Program (5)
  • ESP Quote Asleigh_Brennan
  • Elite Sports Performers Program (2)
  • ESP Quote Aoife_Coughlan
  • Elite Sports Performers Program

Finding the balance.

This program was started in 2012 in recognition of the high number of secondary students at St Paul’s who were competing in their chosen sport at an Elite Level. Many of the students in this program must train between 15-30 hours a week, some of them must also train before and after school, as well as weekends.  Students competing at a high level need a greater flexibility of curriculum as they can lose face to face teaching time as a result of Melbourne based training/competitions as well as interstate and overseas sporting commitments. The program initially started with seven students and has quickly grown to include over 60 students from Years 7-12 across both campuses.

Follow the athletic achievements of St Paul’s Elite Sports Performer students on the St Paul’s Elite Sports Performers Facebook page:


The program aims to:

  • Assist elite student athletes as they seek to balance their educational demands with their sporting commitments.
  • Allocate elite student athletes a staff member who will help them cope in times of higher stress.
  • Help students in the program with time management, prioritising, goal setting, communication with staff and stress management.
  • Create a network for elite sports performers so they can support each other.

Special events within the program:

Guest speakers

A pivotal component of the program is hearing from guest speakers explaining how they managed to balance their sporting commitments with school work or other commitments.

ESP students have been able to hear from:

2012 – Jamie Macmillan (North Melbourne Footballer).

2013 – Ashleigh Brennan (Olympic and Commonwealth Games Gymnastic Medalist).

2014 – Brenton Jones (St Paul’s Alumni and Elite Cyclist); Jeremy Meyer (National Swimmer and AIS Scholarship holder); Leigh Brown (AFL Football and TAC Coach); Tammy van Wisse (Marathon Swimmer and Multiple World Record Holder); and Monique Hanley (Elite Cyclist – winner of the cross America Road Race).

2015 – Ashleigh Brennan (former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gymnast); Morag Barr (former International netballer); Jamie McMillan (North Melbourne Footballer); David Francis (Musculoskeletal Specialist and Co-Medical Director and Senior Physiotherapist to the Collingwood Football Club); Hannah Macdougall (Paralympic Gold Medallist); and Kelly Hetherington (800m National Champion).

2016 – Chloe McCardel (Marathon Swimmer); Jamie Glazier (Mental Performance Coach Dare2Dream High Performance Consulting); Rebecca Bryce (Exercise Physiologist); Josh Milner (Strength and Conditioning Consultant); Stuart Tripp (VIS, Paralympian); Hannah Macdougal (VIS, Paralympic athlete); Alice McNamara (Olympian, World Champion Rower and World Champion Stair Climber); Dr Aaron Bryce (Podiatrist The Foot and Ankle Clinic); Shannon McCurley (Olympian); Jack Billings (AFL, St Kilda Footballer); Eleanor Patterson (Commonwealth Gold Medal High Jumper); Jaz Shelley (Australian Basketballer); and Kelly Cartwright (World Paralympic Champion).

Voyage Fitness supports elite sports students at St Paul’s

stacked voyage logoLocal business, Voyage Fitness, are proudly sponsoring students from Years 9 to 12 in the Elite Sports Performers Program (ESP) at St Paul’s.  These students will receive a generous 12 month gym membership at Voyage which includes assistance from Voyage staff to help maintain their fitness levels safely.

The Foot and Ankle Clinic supports elite sports students at St Paul’s

FootAnkleClinic-LOGO-dft4-p3Students enrolled in the ESP Program at St Paul’s are now being supported by ‘The Foot and Ankle Clinic’ in 2016 and beyond.  The Foot and Ankle Clinic have generously offered their professional services to the St Paul’s ESP students to help them achieve their highest potential in sport.

Victorian Institute of Sport

From 2015 the St Paul’s ESP students have benefited from a relationship with the Victorian Institute of Sport. The VIS will deliver seminars on topics such as Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Time Management, Stress Management as well as Fatigue and Recovery. Using the expertise of the VIS will help us to further support and develop the students in the program.

The VIS have also supported the program by providing ESP staff with Professional Development through a workplace  placement in the Personal Excellence Department.  St Paul’s thanks the VIS for their support and guidance.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Camp

This unique Elite Athlete Camp involves staying and eating with the AIS athletes in the village as well as being lectured by many of the Nation’s top coaches in areas such as Sport Psychology, Nutrition, Recovery Procedures, Strength and Conditioning and Athlete Career Education. The students are also taken for practical sessions conducted by the AIS staff.  The AIS Camp is held every two years and is for ESP students only.

Elite athlete mentors

Some students in their second or third year in the program have become mentors to assist in supporting new students to the program or middle school students who need help with time management.

If you would like more information on the ESP program, please click here to send your enquiry to the Coordinator of the Elite Sports Performers Program.