The Elite Sports Program has been established to nurture and develop the academic and sporting achievements of students from Years 7 to 12. The program aims to build a strong foundation of strength, power and speed in junior athletes and further develop each studentā€™s capacity in their chosen sport in the senior program. The program enhances studentsā€™ capacity as an athlete and a student, building leadership, interpersonal and communication skills. Students in the Elite Sports Program have access to elite training and conditioning allowing for a blend of academic development and practical learning.


  • To promote a culture of excellence with a focus on academic, personal and sporting development and performance through a range of programs
  • To provide students with exposure to the requirements of a junior elite athlete by replicating the high expectations of a professional environment.
  • To utilise student interest and passion around sport as a vehicle to engage, to promote lifelong learning and connectedness to the College
  • To assist students to develop advanced skills, knowledge and an understanding of pathways that foster direct connections with the sport industry beyond the College
  • To develop studentsā€™ skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork together with enhancing their wider knowledge of the various components of the sporting industry


  • Students participate in Accelerated Health Physical & Education classes from Years 7-10
  • Access to high performance training with our partner ACE Performance
  • Complete a range of qualifications and accreditations
  • Access to state of the art training facilities
  • Additional playing opportunities
  • Athlete Personal Development Program ā€“ tailored mentoring program


Mount Ridley College is partnered with ACE Performance to help provide all students within the ESP program with the best strength and conditioning program available. ACE Performance have been at the forefront of youth development for over 20 years in Australia as they specialise in developing athletes throughout a range of sports, such as AFL, Netball, Rugby League, Basketball and Soccer.

With four facilities open in Melbourne, ACE Performance see over 1000 budding young athletes every week and provide tailored support to help these athletes achieve their sporting goals.

The programs include elements of:

  • Performance testing (every term)
  • Functional movement screen (every term)
  • Pre-training protocols
  • Running technique
  • Agility technique
  • Stability development
  • Power development
  • Strength development
  • Recovery protocols

During puberty, teens often experience growth spurts which leave kids with decreased levels of body awareness and postural stability.  By creating and refining correct movement patterns through full ranges of motion, we can create athletes that are injury resilient and efficient movers.

All ACE Performance coachesā€™ are degree qualified, have recently completed 12 weeks of performance coach development and have years of experience in the industry.

Students complete formalised fitness testing at the beginning of the year and then end of every term to monitor and assess their individual performance needs and to expose students to aspects of the elite training environment.

The Junior Athlete Development program (Years 7 and 8) utilise their after-school training time to target this aspect of their development.


The Junior Athlete Development program is designed so that students can reach their full athletic potential. The focus is on movement quality which will inevitably create high performing, efficient and injury resilient athletes. The fundamentals of ACE performance sessions are; running, jumping, force absorption, postural stability, flexibility, agility, strength, power, speed, coordination and balance. Students in the Junior development program participate in accelerated Physical Education classes as well 1 x 60-minute-high performance training after-school.

The characteristics of the Junior Athlete Development Program are:

  • The Junior Athlete Development Program will form one mentor class each at Year 7 and Year 8
  • Their Health and Physical Education class will be with like-minded ESP students
  • Students will undertake an accelerated Physical Education class completing tasks of higher standard
  • PE opportunities include; coaching, leadership responsibilities, team management, physical development ā€“ functional training
  • Training sessions will require an after-school commitment for 60 minutes, with a time to be scheduled in to best suit coaches and teachers and will run from 3:30pm-4:30pm
  • Students will have additional competition opportunities

The Elite Sports Program is not appropriate for all students.  It is both rewarding and demanding, with high expectations of elite behaviours and academic success.

The Junior Athlete Development program (Years 7 & 8) suits students who:

  • might be interested in being part of the Years 9-12 specialised Elite Sports Program (ESP)
  • want to be challenged with like-minded athletic students
  • demonstrate capability to manage the expectations of a specialised program
  • are hardworking and committed to both their training and academic program
  • want to be ambassadors for sport at Mount Ridley P-12 College

Please take a look at our handbook for further information: ESP-HANDBOOK-YR-7-and-8

The application process for the Year 7 Athlete Development Program is designed to identify students for whom this type of program is appropriate. All of the information gathered is used to help select the students who will be best equipped to cope with the rigours of a select-entry specialised sports program.

STEP 1: Students hoping to enrol in Year 7 for the following academic year at Mount Ridley College are invited to complete an application form for the Athlete Development Program. Completion of an application form must be accompanied by copies of the following required documentation. Please do not provide original documents as they cannot be returned.

  • Completed Coaches Reference Form
  • Year 6 interim / progress report (if available and only for external MRC applicants)

Year 5, Semester 2 report (external MRC applicants)

For applications, you will complete an online form. This will be released soon.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

STEP 2:Ā Prospective students for the Year 7 Junior Development Program 2024 are required to attend Fitness Testing as part of the selection process. This will take place in the Main Gym at the College- dates to be determined.

STEP 3: Information is collected from the studentā€™s primary school, including teacher references for both external applicants and applicants currently enrolled at Mount Ridley P-12 College.

STEP 4:Ā Upon review of applications, references, reports and fitness testing shortlisted students will be invited to attend an interview at the College. The date and times of interview will be provided to each family via email.

STEP 5: Upon consideration of all components of the application process, all applicants will be notified via email correspondence of the outcome of their application following the confirmation of enrolment at the College. The decision by the College is final.

Please Note: Parents / Guardians must still submit ā€˜The Department of Education Year 6 to Year 7 Transition: Application for Year 7 Placementā€™ Form to the Year 6 Coordinator at your Primary School.


Mount Ridley P-12 College utilises a number of community partnerships to deliver a high-quality program. Partners include NRL Victoria, Craigieburn Eagles Basketball Club and Calder Cannons football club.


Aaron Neal

Elite Sports Program Leader


Hamish Pearce

Director of Specialised Programs


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