HPAP Blog

Managing Netball, Softball, Baseball and Football commitments

Thursday, April 02, 2020

My name is Jorja Hooper and I play netball, softball, baseball and football at a state level. In the last year I have been privileged enough to be a part of some amazing teams. Last July was fairly busy for me, firstly I went away for the Under 15 Australian Softball. This tournament was held in Redlands, Queensland and consisted of a two day training camp and then a five day tournament. This opportunity allowed me to make new friendships and play in a high level in my sport. A week after returning from this tournament I went away for State 15 and under netball. This again was an amazing experience, we went through the whole competition undefeated. Unfortunately at this time the state 16 and under football team went away, I made the squad for this but had to pull out due to my netball commitments. In January I went away to Waverly, Melbourne for under 16 state softball, personally I didn’t have the best tournament but the experience that I gained from this was still quite valuable and I ended up making reserves for the Australian team. This year I have also taken up baseball making the state team in about the middle of February, we were supposed to go away this Easter, however, the tournament has been postponed. At the moment I am also in the Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy, which has also been postponed.

Playing all of these sports means that I am quite busy. At my busiest I am training or playing seven times a week, generally for an hour and a half to three hours. On the weekends, however, I am playing sport for most of the day, for example, softball I am down there from anywhere between seven and twelve hours on a Saturday. For each sport I play a specific position. Softball I am a pitcher and a first base and occasionally play outfield. Being a pitcher requires me to do extra training on top of what the rest of the team does, so on top of fielding and batting I will also be doing pitching specific training. Football I play ruck or full forward but if I get the opportunity I like halfback. Baseball I play first, third or outfield and in netball I play defence, generally goal defence but sometimes goalkeeper.

In the short term future I am looking to make the 17 and under state softball team, the state 16 football team and preforming well at the state baseball tournament. In the long term I would like to work hard and re-enter the Australian Softball team for my age group and in 2022 go away to the world series. I would also like to make the state 17 netball team and after this make the state 19 netball team. Football I would like to make the under 18 state football team. At the moment there isn’t much going forward for baseball but if the pathway arises I would like to explore it.

Jorja Hooper 
Year 11

Tennis Journey

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


My name is Jasmine Adams, I’m 17 years old and I am a tennis player. I have been playing tennis for around 12 years now. I have been playing tennis for most of my life. I love the competitiveness and challenges of the game. I currently play at an Australian level and at an international level both in my age group and also open league. I am currently at an Open Women’s Australian career ranking of 45, U18 junior international ranking of 558 and open women’s international ranking of 1,459. I train four mornings per week before school and every day after school for approximately around 20 hours a week. I travel interstate to complete throughout the year. I also have some amazing experiences travelling to some countries including Thailand, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Over time I have learnt to manage my time well and balance my school and tennis. From my tennis I have learnt a lot of life skills such as organisation skills, time-management skills, problem solving skills, communication skills, and money management skills. To be a high performing tennis player I have to be disciplined, self-motivated and work hard. Tennis is an individual game which means that you must be mentally strong as you are out on the court by yourself. This is what I love about playing tennis, the challenge of problem solving and using different shots to outsmart your opponent.

Recently I have had the privilege to play in the Junior Australian Open. This was an amazing experience, playing at Melbourne Park were all the professional were playing. Just being there was amazing, being able to see the way professionals act both on and off the court. It cool to say that I have been in a grand slam before and I have also won my first game in a grand slam as well!

After Year 12 I am looking to go to college in America on a tennis scholarship. I am currently in the process of going to America next month and looking at a variety of different schools around America. This is an exciting process for me as it has been one of my goals ever since I was young.

As a tennis player I am very consistent with my shots and run everything down. Most people dread playing me because I don’t make many mistakes. I am currently starting to compete in pro circuit tournaments. This has been a good experience for me. I can’t wait to see where my tennis journey takes in the future.

Jasmine Adams
Year 12

Training and Competing in Figure Skating

Friday, February 28, 2020

My name is Chloe, I’m 16 years old and I’ve been a figure skater for eight years now. As well as being an individual figure skater, I am also primarily a synchronised skater, meaning that I skate with a team. My team is called ‘Adelaide Ice Magic’, or ‘AIM’ for short, and I have been skating with this team for almost seven years, slowly moving up the ranks. My team and I currently rank 3rd in Australia in our division, which is the second highest. I train for approximately 14 hours per week both on and off the ice, not including nightly stretching sessions to improve my flexibility. On ice training includes lots of program work (doing our routines multiple times, in order to improve different aspects each time), as well as lots of skills and speed training. Off ice training includes a lot of fitness, as well as off ice program work (improving our routines off the ice, in order to further improve them on the ice). Additionally, off ice training includes attending a weekly ballet class for an hour and a half, which helps me improve my posture and flexibility, which in then improves my skating abilities. 

At the end of January this year, my skating team and I competed at the Hevelius Cup Competition, held in Gdansk, Poland. In Poland, we trained more than once a day for six days leading up to the competition, as well as going sightseeing and doing many fun team bonding activities. All of our hard work payed off, as we ended up coming home with a gold medal, as well as some amazing memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m currently training for an individual competition in March, and then the synchronised skating season starts again.

Chloe Alfrey
Year 11 Student

The world of climbing

Friday, February 21, 2020

After being introduced to the world of climbing as part of the Woodcroft College Outdoor Education and Future Leaders’ Programs, I joined Vertical Reality Climbing Youth Squad in February 2018.

Although I focus my climbing efforts on top rope and lead climbing, I also participate in bouldering and have recently trained in speed climbing. Top rope and lead climbing are both rope-based climbs, whereas bouldering is typically up to three meters without rope but with a crash pad. This style of climbing requires more dynamic and explosive movements. Speed climbing is a pre-set certified route which is consistent worldwide.

My first competition was a Pump Fest at Adelaide Bouldering Club (ABC) on 30 June, 2018. This competition was based on a climbers eight best climbs over a time period and was a game changer for me. I entered this competition with the main aim to manage my competition mindset and was excited to place second in my age bracket, Male Youth A.

On 18 August I participated in the State Youth Bouldering Competition and struggled during this event as I focused on the importance of placing to qualify for Nationals, rather than focusing on the climb in front of me. However, I was still able to come third gaining my qualification for the Australian Climbing Youth Nationals in May 2020.

After qualifying for Nationals, I was able to reset my mindset and focus back on my climbing. My last competition of the year was another pump fest held at ABC on 22 September where I placed third. Despite this not being my highest achievement to date, I had a great competition as my mindset was the best it had been. I really enjoyed the event and was really impressed with my ability to stay focused and positive in this environment. I really enjoyed the event, and this solidified my love of the sport.

Throughout the Summer holidays I spent many hours honing my technique and completed hundreds of hours of both indoor and outdoor climbing. It was during this time that I also completed a weeklong intensive climbing experience in Victoria and was exposed to my first Speed Climb, which is one of the disciplines, in addition to lead climbing and bouldering, that is expected at Nationals.

However, my most significant achievement to date was being awarded the Austin Grabkowski Award for Most Improved South Australian Climber 2019.

I love to climb, and I aspire to include in my work life moving forwards.

Mathew Gull
Year 12

Winning the Bay Sheffield

Tuesday, February 04, 2020


At the end of 2019, I was really excited to be given the opportunity to compete in the South Australian pro-running event, Bay Sheffield. Running in the 70m Open Women’s and having a reasonable handicap, I was fortunate to win the heats, the semi finals and then the final race. It certainly was a shock for me and I'm still coming to terms with it.

I really appreciated running with such high calibre athletes, including an Olympian.

The Bay Sheffield win has inspired me to continue my training this year, as well as always do my best.

The preparation for this event varied from 5 to 6 training sessions a week including; weights, endurance sessions, fartlek, sprints and block work, which really seemed to pay off in the long run.

I hope to now compete in multiple Surf Life Saving Competitions including the Australian Super Surf League, State Titles and Nationals in Queensland.

Cloe Griffiths
Year 12

HPAP Personal Development Day

Friday, June 28, 2019


Welcome to our very first High Performance Athletes Program (HPAP) Blog.

Woodcroft College is the only accredited Athlete Friendly Education Centre in South Australia. We are only 1 of 2 in Australia.

The accreditation comes from the World Academy of Sport and is in recognition of the support we give students who are athletes in their own right.

Our High Performance Athletes Program gives students, who are competing at a state or national level, the support they need to train hard for their sport, and the flexibility to balance this with school work.

Today our HPAP Coordinator, Mike Chemny, ran a Personal Development day for our athletes.

They attended presentations on international and Australian Team representation and had a sports psychology session.

They ended the day with and a come and try session with our HPAP athletes.

It was a great success and testament to the commitment Mike puts in to both the program and the students.

Next Term our Blog will feature athletes, their stories and successes.

With over 30 athletes at the College, we are very proud to be able to support them in their endeavours. We look forward to sharing their stories with you.