Sport for Life at Wesley

Posted October 31, 2019 in Athletics, Choosing a School By Mathew Irving

Now in its third year of operation, our Long-term Athletic Development and High Performance Program (LTAD) continues to drive a ‘Sport for Life’ culture at Wesley.

Under the direction of the Head of Sport, Mr Lyndon Brieffies, every student attending the College now participates in targeted functional movement and strength and conditioning development activities.

The program is a first among all schools in Western Australia. It is Wesley’s unique response in championing holistic health and physical education for all students in a time of increased use of technology and reduced levels of activity.

The framework for delivering the program has three tiers

Tier 3 Athletes

This tier is inclusive of all students Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 and focusses on developing foundations in fundamental movement and core strength, ensuring each student develops their physical capacity to the best of their ability. The Tier 3 program includes Functional Movement testing through PE classes and prescribed intervention exercises in class and at home.

 Tier 2 Athletes

This tier is inclusive of all first team athletes with an emphasis on group mentoring, sports psychology, nutrition and injury prevention. Currently, supported by 17 Exercise Science practicum students from local universities, this tier focuses on helping students prepare and perform to their best of their ability in the PSA competition through ongoing physical testing, comparative data analysis, specific pre-habilitation and warm up exercises, injury rehabilitation, data tracking (GPS) and training in the LTAD High Performance Studio.

Tier 1 Athletes

This tier caters for Wesley students participating at the state and national level, helping athletes gain an understanding of what is required to be successful at this level of competition. The Tier 1 program attends to all of the needs of high-performance athletes, including training management, well-being management, academic management and competition preparedness, with specific intervention from experts and specialist in the sporting industry who form a shared services team.

Progress

In 2019, the development of the LTAD program has reached new heights.

Functional movement testing of all students, from Pre-primary to Year 9, is embedded in the Health and Physical Education curriculum. This semester, testing results will be made available to all parents through Schoolbox with the view to add growth data for students in the coming years.

This data is designed to inform parents of the level of physical capacity of their children across the functional movement tests in comparison with National standards.

In addition to data collection, the College has recently introduced specific planned exercises throughout the PE and Health program to increase student capacity. In 2020, a range of fun activities will also be added to the Junior School diary to promote parent awareness and encourage students to practice skills in their own time.

In 2019, 12 athletes have taken part in the Tier 1 program with an additional three athletes taking part in a pilot post-school graduate program.

All Tier 1 athletes have completed multiple physical screenings and have individualised strength and conditioning programs designed for them under the direction of our Assistant Head of Sport and Physical Performance Manager, Dr Daniel Hiscock. In addition, athletes have taken part in weekly sessions in a state-of-the-art Pilates reformer studio under the supervision of physiotherapist, Mark Ryder.

To add further weight and extrinsic value of the Tier 1 program this year, the College was proud to witness former Tier 1 athletes Kyle Bowen (13-17-18) debut for the Perth Wildcats and then go on to an National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 scholarship at St Mary’s University to play College Basketball in the United States. Ian ‘Bobby’ Hill (16-17) also made his debut for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFL and recently signed a contract extension at the end of his first season.

 Conclusion

LTAD and its aim to drive a ‘Sport for Life’ culture remains a cornerstone of the College’s commitment to preparing our students to develop an active, purposeful and balanced life.

By partnering with PE and Health staff, expert coaches, sport industry specialists, researchers and parents, we are giving our students the best chance at maintaining positive engagement and participation in physical activity for life.

Subscribe to Wesley College News & Events