A pathway for football young guns

AFL hopefuls across Victoria are being given a golden opportunity to attend a scholarship testing day for AFL passion school The Academy.

The Academy has worked closely with careers counsellors and teachers at more than 450 secondary schools across Victoria to identify students who are passionate about football and could benefit from the education model offered at The Academy.

A Golden Footy, along with an invitation to attend a scholarship testing day at the school’s Essendon or Geelong campuses, will be given to 150 of the students.

The Academy will offer three scholarship opportunities for the next school year, The Recruit Scholarship, the Socio-Economic Scholarship and the Diversity Scholarship.

Richmond superstar and The Academy co-founder Alex Rance said the school’s main focus was having kids passionately engaged with their education.

“The program is something for students that are passionate about their football and not engaged in current schooling,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from places like Wangaratta, Castlemaine, Shepparton and all over the place.

“There’s been a lot of interest from rural areas because football is such a great connector for rural kids and connecting footy, life skills and education is very important for those kids.”

The Academy founder Alex Rance with Kilmore junior footballer and The Academy student Jaden Smith. ​

Kilmore junior footballer Jaden Smith said The Academy had been great for him and given him the chance to improve his football while learning more than traditional schooling.

“I’ve been able to learn off some great teachers and coaches as well as the students around me who share their tips,” he said.

“I would love to play AFL as well as just enjoy life and do something that I love. I reckon I want to do coaching when I’m older, which is another great pathway at The Academy.”

The Academy offers an alternative to traditional schooling for boys in years 11 and 12 that are passionate about AFL.

Students graduate with a VCAL certification and the ability to move into various pathways whether that be a career in the football industry, an apprenticeship, or further education.

Scholarship testing days incorporate physical testing across three key areas relevant to the sport – speed, power, endurance, muscular strength, skills and game sense as well as time to assess student’s drive and passion for AFL.

Students do not need to receive a golden footy and invitation in order to attend the scholarship testing days, and any interested and eligible students are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit theacademy.com.au/scholarships.

Any interested students must register to attend a training day by September 16.