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New South Wales has scored a first with the state’s seven Sports High Schools officially becoming Australian Olympic Pathway Schools from today.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell MLC and NSW Sports Minister Alister Henskens SC, MLA with Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Chief Executive Matt Carroll, jointly announced the partnership, aimed at boosting opportunities for talented NSW athletes to progress their sporting and academic careers.

In a further boost for schools across NSW, the state government has also announced Australia’s largest Olympic education initiative, with an extension of the “Olympics Unleashed” program set to reach 250,000 school students over the next three years. NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder and Olympics Unleashed presenter, Sarah Carli, said this was an excellent result for program.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the unique designation from the Australian Olympic Committee for these schools was fantastic news and would help boost the State’s efforts to create future generations of Olympians and Paralympians.

“Our seven Sports High Schools in NSW are the only secondary schools in Australia to have this prestigious recognition.

“This reflects the great strength of our sports high school network, and their excellent track record in fostering both sporting high performance and academic achievement. I can’t wait to see the next generation of medal-winning athletes coming from our public schools as we look to Brisbane 2032.”

Starc reminder of sporting schools’ talent

Brandon Starc returns to The Hills Sports HS

Things have changed lots since Brandon Starc left school, but the champion high jumper says he owes plenty to Hills Sports High. Glenn Cullen reports.

Brandon Starc has loads of memories from his time at Hills Sports High School, but the spacious indoor gym isn’t one of them.

“This wasn’t here,” Australia’s premier high jumper, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympic finalist said recently when surveying the superb facility.

“It would have been amazing. I could have done a lot in here; it’s big enough to do all kinds of drills when it’s raining.”

Not that Starc missed out on much, given he was already well and truly earmarked as an international athletics star of the future by the time he graduated the school in 2011.

“This school basically kept me on the path of athletics because of all the training and the opportunities I had,” said Starc, on hand at Hills for the state’s sports high schools’ signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Institute of Sport to help facilitate pathways for talented athletes.

“I owe quite a bit of my success to this school.”

Starc now has a permanent place on the wall of the gym, along with the likes of Matildas star Kyah Simon and Kangaroos rugby league players Wade Graham and Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

“It’s just awesome to see what they’ve got and the opportunities for everyone across so many sports,” Starc said of the school.

Initially a jumper across the range of field disciplines, Starc narrowed his focus to the high jump when he was 15.

The school’s athletics coach, Nicole Gadow, saw his potential and recommended him to an external coach, Alex Stewart.

The pair work together to this day.

After getting pipped for gold on a countback at the last Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Starc took some time out with heel and plantar fascia issues.

He’s resumed light training and is eyeing off a big return to the sport in 2023, including August’s world championship in Hungary.

In the downtime, he got to enjoy a little bit of the T20 cricket World Cup featuring his brother, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

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Exciting new partnership begins!!

New partnership with ACPE


In partnership with the NSW Sports High Schools Association, The Hills Sports HS and ACPE (the Australian College of Physical Education) have entered into a multi-year agreement which aims to deliver new initiatives that support the overall development of our students and provide a clear pathway to Higher Education. To read more about this exciting partnership and ACPE’s new learning resource called ‘The ACPE Education Hub’, please click here:

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