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Patrick Rebakis
Nov 9, 2017

Elite Athlete and Performer Program Dinner

Nov 9, 2017 by Patrick Rebakis

On Wednesday 1 November Professor Anne Cummins hosted the inaugural Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) Dinner in North Sydney to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of some of our young elite athletes and performers.

The intimate gathering of eighteen guests included ACU Chancellor the Honourable John Fahey, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven, World University Games Silver medallist Alysha Burnett, National Road Series Cyclist Sascha Bondarenko-Edwards and the talented Taekwondo duo, the Afonczenko brothers, to name a few.   

The dinner was held to recognise the dedication and hard work the athletes and performers put into managing a dual career as a student and athlete. Many of the student athletes work part time jobs while balancing their full time training commitments and university study loads.

The dinner also affirmed the success of the EAPP in the four years since its reform in early 2014.  The program has established itself as one of the leading elite athlete and performer programs among Australian universities with the introduction of financial scholarships, online application process, centralised early timetabling, significant academic flexibility, greater support for Australian and World University Games representatives, international study options and the appointment of full time staff to drive the program from strength to strength.

As ACU has the unique advantage of being a national campus, the dinner was a great opportunity for the elite athletes and performers to engage with each other and University staff and share their stories throughout the evening.  

Ceran Nilsen from the EAPP said, ‘It was a great

opportunity to show our appreciation for the elite athletes and performers who give back to the university and to showcase the EAPP’s talented athletes to the University executive staff.  It was fantastic to meet many of the athletes for the first time and get to know them after speaking extensively through emails and phone contact. It is pleasing to see the difference the program makes in these young people’s lives’.  Professor Cummins added, ‘ACU is very proud of the outstanding achievements of our elite students.  They are working extremely hard under considerable pressure to reach their goals. The EAPP has allowed them the flexibility to concentrate their efforts where it matters’.

The EAPP continues to grow each year as more athletes and performers become aware of the program. It is timely to acknowledge and thank the University’s academic staff for their dedicated commitment to providing extensive support and understanding to the 410 EAPP students. Without their support, the program would not enjoy the success it has achieved.