For emerging athletes who dream of pursuing sport at an elite level, Meriden’s Olympus Program is an essential part of the journey to success. The program provides personalised support to each participant, helping them fulfil their academic and sporting potential.
Since the inception of Meriden’s Olympus Program, the School has supported girls competing at the highest levels in a range of sports, including at the Olympics and other international competitions.
Olympus Program staff members have a thorough understanding of the challenges that face student-athletes as well as years of experience helping them navigate these challenges. Meriden’s sports staff, some of whom are former elite athletes themselves, act as mentors who assist girls in maintaining their physical and mental wellness, managing their schedules, negotiating academic flexibility around periods with intense sporting commitments and supporting students in their academic planning to ensure they are reaching their goals in the classroom.
The Junior Olympus program is accessible to students in Years 5 and 6 who are at an emerging level in their sport and committed to a busy training schedule.
The criteria for entry into the program requires students to have gained either PSSA or NSW CIS selection and/or IPSHA selection in two or more sports.
The program includes pastoral and academic care for girls who have regular, intensive sporting commitments outside school. Program coordinators also organise lunchtime workshops with guest speakers who provide age-appropriate, practical seminars about staying healthy in mind and body.
Young sportswomen in Years 7 – 12 who take part in the Olympus Program have access to different levels of academic support, depending on their training needs.
Student-athletes who have intensive sporting commitments are supported to negotiate flexible academic plans and assessment schedules to ensure they can meet the requirements of their school work to the best of their abilities.
The “Finding Time” elective allows students time during school hours to work on core subjects under the supervision of specialist teachers in order to free up time outside of school hours for training.
Participants take a specially-designed wellness survey at regular intervals throughout the school term. The Athlete Monitoring System asks the girls about their fatigue levels throughout the season, any injuries they acquire and how they are coping with their school work. This information is recorded and tracked for each student so Olympus staff can assist girls with working towards their goals and manage any difficulties by liaising with parents, coaches and teachers as required. The system helps to ensure any issues affecting the girls improve over time.
Girls in the Olympus Program have access to specialist teachers and coaching professionals but some of their richest relationships are made with their peers. Meriden’s “buddy system” provides an official peer-to-peer support network where girls are paired with other Olympus participants who are pursuing different sports. This helps the girls recognise that the pressures they face aren’t exclusive to one sport. Girls get time to workshop practical solutions to their challenges with the help of their “buddies” and these solutions are enriched by the different pathway and sporting experience each girl brings to the relationship.
All girls in the program attend regular workshops on sleep, nutrition, injury prevention, time management and resilience.
Olympus Futures helps student-athletes navigate their post-school options and sporting journeys.
Meriden has formed associations with a number of renowned overseas universities to facilitate a smooth transition for Meriden graduates into that institution’s tertiary sporting and academic environment.
The Olympus Futures program provides advice and guidance in selecting a suitable tertiary institution and identifying and applying for international university/collegiate scholarships. It also assists girls to accelerate development in their sport for national and international representation. The guidance is tailored to the individual needs and goals of each student.
The Olympus Futures program’s core principle is to support its participants in securing scholarships at higher education institutions that align with the student’s academic standard, tertiary interests and sporting achievement level.
Meriden girls have been offered places and scholarships at leading international universities, including Harvard, Yale, the University of California at Berkeley, Rice University and the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada.
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