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What is an Elite Athlete Program

What is an Elite Athlete Program

We spoke to:

Name: Darcie Morrison

Course: Bachelor of Exercise Science / Masters in Exercise Physiology at Charles Sturt University


What did you study?

I studied a Bachelor of Exercise Science when I left school then went on to do a Masters in Exercise Physiology.


Why did you pick exercise science?

I’ve always loved sport so it seemed like a good fit. I liked the idea of having a job that used exercise for health care. I really liked learning about how exercise interventions can actually help people with chronic medical conditions or injuries.


What did you like most about the course?

It’s what you expect it to be and more.

You get to use really incredible equipment everyday, it's really hands on,


Our Footnotes: Students that study Exercise Science have access to the biochemistry lab, neuromuscular testing facility and climate control chamber. If you want to see what this looks like, take a video tour here.


What is something you didn’t expect about the course?

It’s science heavy. There are a lot of complexities in understanding how exercise relates to injury. You learn a lot about anatomy and human movement.


What sport do you play?

I play rugby at both a club level for Randwick and then a National level for Charles Sturt University.


Tell me about the Elite Athlete Program?

It’s such an incredible opportunity. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

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Being a part of the Charles Sturt University Elite Athlete program gave me the opportunity to grow into an athlete that I didn’t know I was capable of.

I wasn’t playing at the competitive level I am today when I was scouted, but through the program and the training I am now playing at a level that I had never been exposed to. For example I travelled internationally to compete in Samoa last year.

When you are an Elite Athlete here your coaches treat you like a professional; they teach you the right methods of recovery, they teach you about nutrition, stretching, and offer rehab. It’s not like you just get access to the gym and play in a team; it’s a structured program. You train as a professional once or twice a day (most days), and travel for competitions – while studying.

I studied online during the course. Our course coordinator would help us juggle assessments with training or competitions by allowing us to sit exams remotely or even giving us extensions on assessments if we needed it. They really help you balance both.

I think that as a professional athlete you only have a certain window to be able to compete at high levels. But it’s also a risk to put studying on hold to do it. So this allows you to do both.


How did you get into the program?

I was scouted while I was at university and playing in the university side. They [Charles Sturt University] for in contact with me about the program and from that point my coach sent through a letter of recommendation and I was accepted.

You can apply directly through the website without being scouted though, and the process is the same. If you are competing at a high level your coach will know what to include in a letter of recommendation. I am sure they would have been asked before.

Find out more about Charles Sturt Universities Elite Athlete Program here.

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