The 16-year-old speaks with excitement as she discusses the upcoming beach volleyball competition she is organising, as part of her Sport Education Development Australia (SEDA) event management assessment.
‘It’s challenging, but interesting learning how to organise an event like that,’ Steph said.
She said SEDA, an education program for years 11 and 12 students that focuses on the sport and recreation industry, had given her a new sense of purpose and provided a positive alternative to school.
SEDA links with industry partners including Cricket Australia, the WACA, Fremantle Dockers, Football West, Perth Glory and Netball WA to deliver practical education to students.
It was introduced to WA this year following the success of the Victorian program and is proving popular with students like Steph, who are more sports-minded than academic.
‘I never used to want to get up early and go to school; now I get up at 5.30 in the morning to make sure I’m ready for the day ahead.’
Steph spends her week learning about sporting and coaching techniques, while still completing the required theory behind it.
‘We still do academic work and receive our WACE certification, but it’s related to what we’re learning, so it’s a lot more interesting.’
She is now undertaking her workplace training, which includes taking physical education classes at Gosnells Primary School, where she was a former student.
By the time she completes the program at the end of the year, she will not only be armed with nationally recognised sporting and coaching qualifications, she’ll be feeling a lot more empowered.
‘Before this year, I wouldn’t speak in front of a group of more than five people, but I’ve got a lot more confidence,’ she said.
‘I recently did a presentation in front of 100 people about my experience with the SEDA.’
The talented cricket player is now on track to fulfil her goal of becoming a physical education teacher and also has her sights set on playing cricket for Australia.