SSAF funds quite a few things here at Charles Sturt University. For those not in the know, SSAF stands for Student Services and Amenities Fees, which are the fees that most students pay every session. This money goes into a big pool and then goes towards different projects and programs to benefit students. Some of those programs are the Elite Athletes and Sport initiatives.
Here is the inside scoop about the Charles Sturt sporting arena.
Social sport and intervarsity
First off for all those living on campus, social sport is organised through the Elite Athletes and Sport program. SSAF funds go towards the Social Sport Coordinators who organise the teams, the grounds and if applicable, the referees for each sport. Additionally, the Bathurst Sport Council is also part of this program. They manage all things sport on the Bathurst campus. Social sport provides a great opportunity for you to have some fun, bond with your peers at uni and get a bit of exercise – often after a long day’s worth of study. And best of all, you don’t even have to be living on campus. There are student teams from in town that compete as well.
Along with social sport, the Intervarsity competition is also organised with SSAF funding. Intervarsity is a Rugby League competition in which several teams, such as Charles Sturt Bathurst and Orange campuses, compete against towns like Lithgow and Portland sides.
Move Through March
You probably saw the Move Through March Challenge with Uni Moves on Charlie a few weeks ago. That was a new initiative that proved very popular with 280 students downloading the app and 43 completing the Move Through March Challenge. The challenge was a way for Charles Sturt to get both online students and on-campus students involved. All you needed was a phone with the Uni Moves app, and some goals to get moving. Look out for more programs just like this in the future. There will be more opportunities for you go get involved and get moving.
Another initiative that Charles Sturt University are heavily involved in is Uni Nationals. Uni Nationals are a massive athletic competition (think the Olympics but for Australian universities). Held on the Gold Coast, Uni Nationals afford student athletes the opportunity to compete among the best of the best around the country in both team and individual sports. Quite often Charles Sturt students have achieved some pretty good results!
Last held in 2019 due to COVID-19 last year, Charles Sturt arrived home to NSW with gold, silver and bronze medals and we placed 15th overall for the year. That 15th place was out of 43 institutions including Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong and the Australian National University. Not too shabby at all. Check out some highlights!
Uni Nationals isn’t the only big tournament. We also participated in the National Snow at Thredbo, where we brought home two golds and a silver in 2019. We’ve also done well in the Indigenous Nationals.
In addition to our student athletes, the Charles Sturt teams attending these events also consist of photographers, social media personnel and coaches and trainers.
Would you like to be part of the Charles Sturt team for the 2021 Uni Nationals? You can register via the Student Portal.
The Elite Athlete and Performer Program
Charles Sturt University offers a program to help Elite Athletes throughout their studies. This program exists to help Australian Olympians, professional sportspeople, emerging elite athletes, coaches, referees and elite performers with things like the option to study online, the use of gym and sporting facilities, the ability to apply for sports travel grants, access tailored study plans and academic support, and get subsidised on-campus accommodation support.
This SSAF funded program has helped some inspiring students in the past, including:
- Laura Peel – an Australian Freestyle Skier who is a two time world champion (2015, 2021) and a two time World Cup winner in the women’s aerials discipline. Laura is also a Bachelor of Health Science student.
- Karri McMahon – a Hockeyroo and an Australian Olympian who is studying paramedicine.
- Kaarle McCulloch – a four time World Champion in the team sprint. Kaarle was part of the Australian sprint team that won bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Kaarle also won a gold medal in the Team Sprint and a silver medal in the 500m Time Trial at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- Ellie Salthouse – a triathlon champion with several wins in some of the toughest events in the world, such as Ironman events in Australian worldwide and in Challenge Cancun.