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South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA)



The South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA) program was first established at John Pirie Secondary School (JPSS) in 2008 and its official opening day coincided with National Sorry Day held on February 13.  The JPSS SAASTA Launch was of particular significance as JPSS became the first country Academy in the program.

The alternative pathway program has a sports and health focus and aims to deliver rich learning experiences improving both educational and student wellbeing outcomes.  The program provides culturally sensitive curriculum aimed at improving Aboriginal student attendance and retention.  Students are encouraged to complete their SACE and are provided with further education or employment pathways on graduation.  Statistics show that only 2% of all Aboriginal students go on to complete their SACE, reinforcing the need for these students to be nurtured and supported through a program that maintains student interest.

Students involved with the program have gained an increased sense of cultural identity, are experiencing success with their studies, which has lead to improved confidence and self-esteem.  The students are proud to be involved in the Academy and enjoy sharing their experiences with other SAASTA students from metropolitan and country areas.

Subjects delivered within the program include; Integrated Learning – Power Cup, Integrated Learning – Health & Fitness, Physical Education, Integrated Learning – Sport & Recreation, Certificate II in Community Recreation.  The Academy is open for students from Years 10-12 who are supported by a team of teachers, a Coordinator, the Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer (ACEO), and the Aboriginal Education Teacher (AET).

Students are given the opportunity throughout the year to participate in state-wide events including sports clinics, camps, leadership clinics, career expo’s and cultural workshops.  A highlight of these activities is the Aboriginal Power Cup, which is managed by the Port Adelaide Football Club in conjunction with SAASTA, and the Attorney Generals Department.  Students gain points by completing curriculum tasks and attending school.  They then travel to Adelaide participate in a 9-a-side round robin football competition held at the Alberton Oval.  The two finalists’ teams (both male and female) are the teams with the highest points accumulated from both the completion of curriculum tasks (90 points) and participation in the football carnival (10 points).   The two finalists have the privilege of playing a curtain raiser match before a Port Power game on AAMI Stadium.

Although they went down graciously in defeat, the JPSS Girls were fortunate enough to make the Grand Final in 2008 and were incredibly excited to play on AAMI Stadium before the Port Power vs. Collingwood match.





Last Updated on Thursday, 17 March 2011 13:59