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Case Studies : 1st Edition
CASE STUDY PAGE 6 Wests Tigers Ben Rogers is responsible for Wests Magpies Development players – the junior feeder team for Wests Tigers Rugby League Football The goal of the program is to ensure these kids are playing the right game both on and off the field, with a positive start to their careers – whether or not they become professional players. Sporting chance at a brighter future Ben Rogers works with Wests Tigers – a Rugby League Club which participates in the National Rugby League (NRL) Competition. Part of Ben’s role is to look after Wests Magpies – the junior feeder side for Wests Tigers, whose young players aspire to make the first grade team. The club assumes a high level of responsibility for the welfare and education of these talented young players, who are mostly aged from 13 to 18. Whilst some of the boys are still at school, many will pursue football careers at the expense of a formal education. Only 3 or 4 percent will achieve their dream of making it to play for a first grade team. TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute has introduced an important education program for Wests Tigers which provides an alternative pathway into education and the workforce. The goal of the program is to ensure these kids are playing the right game both on and off the field, with a positive start to their careers – whether or not they become professional players. The big idea Ann Roberts is a Manager at WSI. She is interested in providing education options for “development” players, who are very good at sport, but they often don’t complete their schooling. WSI created a program which provides a flexible delivery method, by combining off campus learning with face to face interaction at the Whitlam Sports Centre in Liverpool. WSI provides laptops for each learning session and a teacher works one on one with the students, who incorporate their formal learning with gym and football training. The assessments are conducted onsite by WSI teachers during scheduled training nights. Youthful commitment to a professional pathway Some members of the team travel from other sides of the city to attend the training, but unlike their school classes, they always show up for their football training and WSI sessions. The students combine their football training with health, nutrition and physical education training which leads to Certificate III and IV level qualifications in Fitness and Information Technology. This allows them to gain work as coaches and personal trainers, and to go on to further education at university. “We’re lucky in that WSI comes to us,” Ben Rogers says. “This allows us to have assessments in our own work environment. It’s just a wonderful chance for our kids to get ahead.” No second chances? An exception to the rule Ann Roberts describes the experience as ‘second chance’ education. “A lot of them drop out of school in year 8 or year 9. If this group need literacy support, I can go back to my college and they will have someone out here next week,” she said.