UniSA is helping elite athletes and performing artists balance careers on the sporting or performing arts stage with higher education.
Director of Student and Academic Services Allan Tabor says the Elite athletes and performing artists program offers students a range of study options, which recognises the constraints of training and competition pressures.
“At any one point in time UniSA has approximately 200 elite athletes and elite performers studying with us,” he says. “They study a broad range of programs including Human Movement, Education, Business, Laws, Physiotherapy, and Architecture to name a few.
“Students are assisted with flexibility around leave, studying cross-institutionally or meeting other academic requirements without diminishing the quality of our education. Assistance is provided for timetabling and examination clashes so that these students can work with their training and competition needs.”
Adelaide United F.C. midfielder, Ryan Kitto, who graduated this year with a Bachelor of Human Movement, says the elite athlete and performing artists program allowed him to achieve a good balance of studying and sporting commitments.
“Flexibility has been the key, as UniSA allowed me to move between tutorials to accommodate my training and travel arrangements, I’ve also been able to negotiate assessments to be handed in at rearranged dates,” Ryan says.
Studying Human Movement complemented Ryan’s professional career as an elite athlete, allowing him to better understand what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ with his team.
“Human Movement attracted my interest, as I aspire to be a successful physical education teacher in the future,” he says. “This degree enabled me to go down that path whilst also allowing me to learn invaluable information in the sports science field, which has provided me a greater understanding on what goes on behind the scenes with my sporting team.”
Ryan is now pursuing further study with UniSA, undertaking a Master of Teaching (Secondary).
According to the 2016 AusPlay survey, football (soccer) is the most popular club-based participation sport in Australia for both adults and children.
“In Australia, I see football at a junior level growing and transforming in leaps and bounds and seeing the number of children, both girls and boys, participating at a grassroots level is fantastic for the sport,” he says.
Athletes and performers can apply for admission into the Elite Athlete and Elite Performer program after receiving an offer to study at UniSA.