Flinders Athletes Prepare to Graduate in 2024

Four years after launching the Flinders Elite Athlete Program (FEAP) at 澳门六合彩开奖现场直播 on the Sunshine Coast, the program has grown to support more than 40 rising athletes across the Secondary School from Years 7 to 12.

FEAP aims to support students to reach their academic potential while striving for their sporting dreams and developing their health and wellbeing.听Each athlete has an individual performance plan tailored to their personal needs and demands of their chosen sport.

In 2024, Flinders has 10 FEAP athletes focused on their Year 12 studies as they prepare to graduate and explore their future pathways across sport and further study. 

We asked some of the Flinders Seniors to reflect on their journey with FEAP - to share the lessons they鈥檝e learned, the support they鈥檝e enjoyed and the opportunities they鈥檝e embraced. 

One of the most popular aspects of FEAP is the workshop program, which features professional athletes, sports leaders and high-performance specialists who visit the students and share their insights on a range of topics, from nutrition and mindset to breathwork, injury prevention, rehab and effective media management. 

Thanks to FEAP Year 12 students Charlie Harris, Kirra Tappenden, Mack Hemming, Millie Meredith and Claire McCulloch for sharing their experiences. 

Sports Scholarships to Flinders will open in July for a Term 1, 2025 entry. Learn more and apply here.

Q: What exciting goals or plans do you have for beyond 2024 graduation? 

CHARLIE HARRIS (NETBALL):  鈥淚 am hoping to apply for the Australian Defence Force of Australia (ADFA), which the FEAP program has supported me to do.鈥 

About Charlie: Charlie is an integral part of the Flinders Firsts netball team who won the Monday Night Schools Netball Premiership and are working towards success in future competitions, such as the annual QISSN tournament in Townsville later in the year and aiming to make the Vicki Wilson Cup finals weekend.

KIRRA TAPPENDEN (NETBALL): 鈥My goals for 2025 are to make the U19 team again and go to Nationals. Hopefully I'll be studying at university and have a job whilst also continuing to coach younger kids.鈥 

About Kirra: Kirra is the Flinders First Netball Captain, who just won the Monday Night Schools Netball Premiership, and is a member of the U19鈥檚 QLD Netball team. She competed in the Nationals in Melbourne and plays with the Sunshine Coast Thunder in the Sapphire/Ruby competition. Kirra is involved in the Lightning Bolts Reserves team competing in the league beneath the Suncorp Super Netball.

MACK HEMMING (TRACK AND FIELD): 鈥淚鈥檓 looking to continue to develop my sporting and academic abilities at university.鈥

About Mack: Mack competed in the 2024 Queensland All Schools Cross Country Championships in May, placing 3rd in the 18-19 years age group. This qualified him for the Australian Cross Country Championships at the end of August. He also recently qualified for the Queensland school sport cross country championships in July. Mack does a wonderful job coaching and inspiring up and coming runners at Flinders and in the community. 

MILLIE MEREDITH (SOCCER): 鈥淚 would love to continue playing soccer at a high level when I leave school.鈥

About Millie: Millie recently made the U19 Queensland School Sport team to compete at the Nationals in August. She also competes for the Sunshine Coast Wanderers in the U23 National Premier League Women's Queensland comp. Millie is the Flinders Football Captain and Athletics Captain. 

CLAIRE MCCULLOCH (WATER POLO): 鈥淔EAP has played a crucial role in supporting my aspirations to study and play abroad. In 2025 I aim to secure a two-year sports scholarship at a US university to play water polo and study fields like sports science or another medical-related discipline. I am committed to continuing water polo for the long game, and aspire to return to Australia to complete my university education, armed with valuable experiences.鈥 

About Claire: Claire played for Adelaide in the 2024 Australian Water Polo League and is currently preparing for the New Zealand U21 Nationals with the Australian Youth NZ Team.

Q: How has FEAP helped you approach your academic journey at Flinders?

Charlie: Having someone to talk to and help me navigate through challenging times has significantly increased my comfort level within my studies. FEAP provides me with reassurance that I'm not alone; there's always support available whenever things become difficult.

Kirra: FEAP has helped me learn organisational skills and allowed me to fit schoolwork into my busy schedule. FEAP provides support for athletes, allowing them to enter a study class and plan alternative assessment schedules to avoid clashes they may have with important sporting events. I have learnt so much and it has benefited me in many areas, especially creating a healthier mindset.

Mack: FEAP has allowed me to have flexibility around training and classes, allowing me to achieve academic and sporting success. With support from the FEAP Director, Ms Nourse, I am able to manage assessments and fit them in with my training schedule.

Claire: FEAP has been integral over the past four years, allowing me to have a well-rounded and focused approach to my academic goals and elite sports commitments. This year, FEAP has proven pivotal as I navigate the intense academic demands of Year 12 while pursuing elite opportunities in sports, such as making the Australian Youth Water Polo team for the World Champs and participating in the Australian Water Polo League (AWL) every weekend around Australia in Term 1. FEAP helps me to stay prepared, composed, accountable and focused, even when absent from essential classroom days, so I can meet academic deadlines. Additionally, FEAP has helped mediate my teacher-student relationships, enabling me to make the most of the amazing access to teaching staff at Flinders.

Millie: FEAP has made me feel much more organised with my schoolwork. It was also helpful to know I have someone to help with assignment deadlines and also someone to talk to if I'm ever feeling stressed or anxious about things. Ms Nourse has been amazing to work with and always has students' needs at the front of her mind, which has also made me feel comfortable to ask her for help. 

Q: What skills and insights have you learned through the FEAP workshops and mentoring?

Charlie: I have learned to manage my anxiety more effectively, acquiring coping mechanisms and adopting healthier habits before, during and after games.

Kirra: I鈥檓 learning that everyone makes mistakes and it鈥檚 not the end of your sporting career if you miss out on a team, for example. You just have to work harder for it at the next opportunity. This mindset gives me the motivation that when something goes wrong, I don鈥檛 have to dread it; I just have to come back stronger.  

Mack: I have learnt a lot about aspects of performance that I otherwise wouldn't have looked into, such as diet, psychology, breathing and injury prevention and rehab. 

Claire: Ms Nourse has been an unwavering pillar of support throughout the highs and lows of my water polo journey over the past four years. Leveraging her mentoring and guidance as an elite sportswoman and coach in netball, Ms Nourse understands my challenges and aspirations, and provides holistic guidance while encouraging me to strive for my goals. 

Millie: The nutrition workshops have been helpful for my sport, as it鈥檚 something I usually struggle with. I have learned a range of skills in order to help me in this area, like meal prep to plan ahead with healthy snacks and nutritionally-balanced meals.  

Cover photo caption (L-R): 2024 FEAP athletes in Year 12 at Flinders include Charlie Harris, Kirra Tappenden, Mack Hemming, Millie Meredith and Claire McCulloch.

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