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High school students get to test being a sports coach


Sharlene King
11 October 2013
Talented junior cyclist Anna-Leeza Hull will be put through her elite training and testing program when students of Richmond River High visit Southern Cross University today (Friday October 11) to experience what it is like being a sports coach.

The School of Health and Human Sciences has partnered with the North Coast Academy of Sport (NCAS) to roll out the new initiative which is designed to provide a firsthand educational opportunity, demonstrate the career paths available to graduates of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science degree, and showcase the equipment, facilities and research available at the Lismore campus.

Anna-Leeza, 16, is one of the Academy’s athletes and also a Richmond River High student. She will demonstrate lactate testing and other elements of her training program for the benefit of her fellow students under the supervision of her NCAS coach Shane Hulbert, who will analyse and discuss Anna-Leeza’s results. Shane has recently been appointed the NSW junior cycling squad coach.

The Year 11 Richmond River High students participating in the Sports and Exercise Science High Schools Program are studying PDHPE (personal development, health and physical education) for the Higher School Certificate. They will be accompanied by Tim Laverty, head of PDHPE at Richmond River High.

Dr Cathy Avila, a lecturer in exercise biochemistry, said the one day practical program was designed around the students’ PDHPE HSC curriculum and will specifically address course outcomes.

“At high school the students study exercise science in a theoretical way. By bringing them onto the University campus, where we’ve got the equipment and expertise, they will get the opportunity for experiential learning around the syllabus,” she said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to cover relevant material.”

The program will be overseen by the NCAS supervising staff and implemented by the NCAS testing team made up of third year and Master of Exercise Science interns.

The North Coast Academy of Sport, which is based at the University’s Lismore campus, is part of a network of regional sport academies that aim to assist talented junior athletes achieve success at regional, state, national and international level.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to experience a practical, real-time sports science testing program,” said John Kincade, NCAS executive director.

“The University and the Academy collaborate in several community programs and this is another initiative that demonstrates that partnership.”

The Sports and Exercise Science High Schools Program will be offered to other high schools in the Northern Rivers region in 2014.
Photo: Anna-Leeza Hull.