Since its inception at Henley High School the Specialist Sport Program has impacted on the lives of many students. The training they have received has not only assisted them to make South Australian and Australian teams, achieve personal bests in their events and win State and National Championships in a variety of sports, but also provided pathways to employment and further education post school.
The Specialist Sport Program at Henley High School was established as part of funding provided by the Department of Education and Child Services in November of 1997 to assist student athletes to maximise their potential whilst achieving a balance between their academic, sporting and life goals.
Initially, the program ran from years 8 – 11 and students completed 220 minutes per week over the year accessing high quality coaches provided by the school or in conjunction with State Sporting Associations. Sports offered in the first year were football, netball, basketball, athletics, cricket and softball. In 2001, four new sports were added to the program: hockey, tennis, soccer and surf lifesaving.
Since its inception the program has made a number of changes to meet the needs of our students’ educational and sporting needs. Some of these changes have included:
introduction of dance into the program
establishment of a Year 8 overlay program supporting the middle schooling model of the school
providing a curriculum pathway up to Year 12
incorporating a variety of accreditation into the program including a Certificate III is Sport and Recreation (partial completion), National Coaching and Officiating Schemes courses
fostering stronger relationships between the school and local primary schools
Specialist Sport programs are conducted by highly experienced and credentialed coaches in partnership with the relevant State Sporting Organisations. The program’s focus is on the development of the ‘student athlete’ with its core elements including skill training in the relevant sport, physical preparation, performance analysis, personal development, and a flexible and supportive academic program from Years 8 to 12.
Over 420 athletes from a wide range of sports participate in Specialist Sport programs. Both able bodied athletes and athletes with a disability are eligible to apply. Select entry to the program is made on the basis of an application which must meet academic and sporting criteria. A selection trial, and when appropriate an interview, are a normal part of the selection process.