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National News

Raise the Bar applications open

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 | Athletics Australia



Athletics Australia and the University of Melbourne have today begun to accept applications for the upcoming 2017 Raise the Bar Academy, to be held on the university’s campus from 16 -20 January 2017.

Now in its third year, the Raise the Bar Academy is open to indigenous students entering Year 11 or 12, with the aim of supporting those who are interested in pursuing tertiary education and a career in the sports industry.

The free program consists of a five-day summer residence camp at the University of Melbourne. Participants will get to train with some of Australia’s best athletes, develop new skills in athletics coaching, connect directly with sports industry professionals and learn about how they can access the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous pathways.

Athletics Australia’s General Manager, Program Development, James Selby said the Academy was aimed at helping Indigenous Australians become better athletes, complete secondary school and pursue tertiary studies.

“The camp provides a fantastic opportunity for kids to get on track to start the school year right, be inspired by peers just like themselves, meet new friends and learn from some of Australia’s best athletes who are excelling in all areas of their lives, not just the sports arena.”

“The Academy participants will have the chance to explore their leadership potential and discover how to pursue a university education at Australia’s leading academic and research institution.

The Raise the Bar Academy will welcome up to 35 participants.

The purpose of the Raise the Bar Academy is to inspire Indigenous secondary school students to elevate their athletic and academic aspirations; to understand that it is possible, and even essential that they pursue academic and sports goals concurrently; to educate Indigenous students that participation in sport can complement and open doors to professional pathways.

In the past two years we have had participants from remote communities such as: Arnhem Land, Alce Springs, Yam Island, Palm Island, Cooktown, Kununurra, Loom Community (WA), One Arm Point (WA), Halls Creek (WA), Ceduna and Port Augusta (SA) as well as many others.

For more than 10 participants, English has not been their first or preferred language.

These students connected to the University’s pathway programs via Raise the Bar and have since moved from Coen, Cairns and Darwin to study in Melbourne.

77% of Raise the Bar participants have reported that they are more likely to pursue tertiary study due to participating in Raise the Bar.

Raise the Bar participants will get a taste of life on campus and enjoy living with some of Australia’s most elite athletes for the week.