Sports Education is a key focus of the South West Sydney Academy of Sport.
Every athlete that participates within the Academy's Scholarship program is exposed to a primarily off-season, educationally based program.
In 2007, the Academy launched a substantial review into the Educational outcomes of each of its 8 sporting programs. The results of this review utlimately have led to the creation of the ninth sporting program - Coach Education.
The review of Sports Education focused on topics presented, quality of presenters, and quantity of education sessions. It also factored in each sports on-field skill component and recognised the level of coaching that athletes recieve with their local clubs, and the requirements of the State Sporting Organisation.
As a result, the Academy is currently developing a consise Athletes Sports Education Program for Academy Athletes. This new program is already showing signs of success with recent trials within the 2007 Tennis and Athletics programs.
Athletes will undertake a selection of Core and Elective subjects in both Lecture based and Practical situations, within a more structured Sports Education package, which will be complimented by their sports specific on-field training program.
The South West Sydney Academy of Sport is taking a unique approach with the Sports Education program, with some subjects containing a minor assessment task for athletes to complete.
Discussions are held between the Academy Sports Programs Coordinator and each sporting program Head Coach prior to the squad season to best plan the required elective education package for each sport.
Subjects include: Sports Psychology, Sports Counselling, Public Speaking, Drugs in Sport Awareness, Orientation to Coaching, Sports Science Testing, Sports Nutrition, Strapping, Injury Prevention and Care, Core Strength and Flexibility, Recovery, Officiating and Elite Match Reviews.
The Academy is continually exploring options with Educational Service Providers to continue to value-add to the Athlete Sports Education Program, with several regional Education Providers already partnering with the Academy in the development of this program.