Pictured: Andrew Yapp, NuSport Campus Programs Manager and Elite Athletes Support Officer; Tracey Chalk, Chief Marketing Officer UON; Brett O’Farrell, CEO Hunter Academy of sport & HAS athletes at partnership launch.


The Hunter and Central Coast Academies of Sport have announced a ground-breaking tri-partisan partnership with the University of Newcastle this weekend, with a launch held at the University’s Griffith Duncan Theatre  on Saturday 9th March.

In what has been termed as ‘groundbreaking’, all three parties are now closely aligned with the sole objective of providing world class opportunities to future students and a pathway to the elite athlete program at the University.

Each year, the Hunter and Central Coast Academies provide hundreds of regional and rural-based athletes, ranging in ages from 10 to 18, the opportunity to access national and international standard training and development programs within their regional bases.

As a long-time supporter of elite sport development, the new partnership with the University of Newcastle will allow the Academies to strengthen their position in Australia’s elite athlete pathway and provide greater educational opportunities for regional-based athletes.

For more than 50 years, the University of Newcastle has worked with community and industry to support the growth and enhancement of its students and local organisations.

Through the exclusive education partnership with the Hunter Academy of Sport and the Central Coast Academy of Sport, the University of Newcastle is supporting the dreams of high school athletes and preparing them for a career after sport.

The partnership offers the opportunity for high school students to engage with the University of Newcastle to explore the pathways, flexible study options, scholarships and support available to student-athletes.

“From Olympic silver medallists to national representatives, our Elite Athlete Program has supported our student-athletes to balance their study and sporting commitments while also preparing for a fulfilling career after sport,” NuSport Campus Programs Manager and Elite Athletes Support Officer Andrew Yapp said.

“We are looking forward to supporting more outstanding athletes chase their ambitions and build their resilience through their educational journey.”

The University provides the Academies with a major point of difference to other partners, including support through sports science testing, integrated learning for postgraduate students and direct access to the Exercise and Sports Science facility at its Central Coast campus.

The partnership will enable access to facilities across the Callaghan and Central Coast campuses, which will be used for education seminars with world-class presenters and cooking classes run by nutritionists.


Brett O’Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of the Hunter Academy of Sport said of the partnership; “Our athletes and their families will have some huge decisions to make in the next few years relating to their career, sport and direction in life. This partnership will help support our academy community in making the right choices. To have the university’s expertise, facilities & opportunities provided to our families develops our squad right now as athletes with real tangible benefits but also gives them the tools and knowledge for when decision time eventually arrives.”

“This is no longer just an elite sports athlete pathway, we can now say that this partnership is also providing a pathway to education and a career for the youth of the region.”