Programmed For Success

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 11:49 AM

Two nationally recognised sports industry qualifications

State mixed netball team selection

Acceptance into Curtain University’s Bachelor of Physiotherapy course

A coaching position with Netball WA

A highly coveted role with the West Coast Eagles

These career highlights would be highly regarded in a skilled and seasoned sporting industry professional’s resume. Even more impressive, is that they are the accomplishments of twenty one year old, Brittany Tavo, a confident and industrious young woman who credits the V Swans’ Shooting Goals program for much of her success.

“The V Swans program put a lot of that self-confidence in me … getting behind me and believing in the things that I could do and achieve,” Tavo said. Without its support, she claimed, “it would have been a lot more difficult to get to where I am today.”

V Swans is the Education and Community Development department of the Swan Districts Football Club (SDFC), which oversees a number of programs in regional areas that transfer skills from the sports field into the classroom. Two that consistently produce positive outcomes, Kicking Goals and Shooting Goals, are specialist sport education programs that integrate AFL football, basketball and netball with the WA education curriculum.

Kicking Goals and Shooting Goals participants are required to maintain good attendance, academic achievement and behavior KPI’s. In return, the programs offer incentives such as fun, group trips away to eligible students; exceptional support staff to alleviate teacher workload or shortage, and the delivery of Certificate II in Sport and Recreation and Certificate II in Sports Coaching to senior students. All of which, facilitate increased student retention, Year 12 WACE attainment, higher education opportunities and greater numbers of school leavers that are qualified and employable.

“Every day I looked forward to going to those classes and working towards my Cert II. The teachers were really, really, great and really supportive. If we missed a class or needed help to finish something, they would always put their hand up to stay back.  A few of us made netball teams outside of school. Tracey [Swami, Hedland V Swans Regional Manager], coordinator for netball and my teacher, would take us to extra training sessions … great to have that supportive environment and push to become the best we can be,” said Tavo.

“It's a lot of sacrifice, missing out on things to spend time that extra bit of time on homework, for a test or to finish an assignment,” Tavo shared. “It’s definitely paid off in the end … I’m doing a physiotherapy degree now.”

The programs comprise coaching and first aid components that also support future work readiness. Upon successful certification, students become qualified to deliver CPR and first aid, coach junior and youth sport, and acquire employment in gyms and sporting associations across Australia - a benefit Brittany has already capitalised upon.

To meet course requirements, Brittany coached NetSetGo, a fun introduction to netball for children aged 5-10 years run by the Port Hedland Netball Association. She attributes the development of her leadership, communication and public speaking skills to this coaching experience and said “taking responsibility for how you’re going to get to your coaching and not let those kids down” taught her time and self-management. Brittany was also given the opportunity to design programs for the children and these skills combined with the qualifications gained through Shooting Goals were “really helpful when I came down to Perth (for university) and was looking for a job. I ended up picking up a coaching gig at Netball WA,” she enthused.

The programs’ coaching criteria also benefits the wider community. Not only does it foster greater community connection, the umpiring and coaching services provided by the students contribute significantly to the sustainability of local sport and recreation delivery. Without human resource support from the V Swans programs, many community sporting teams and associations in regional WA would sadly cease to exist.

“[Shooting Goals has] given me a lot of discipline in getting work done so you can have rewards at the end of it,” said Tavo. This philosophy has served Brittany well at university leading to her greatest reward to date. Her high achievement as a physiotherapy undergraduate prompted an invitation from the West Coast Eagles Football Club to interview for a position with the organisation alongside WA’s academic elite. Brittany was surprised but thrilled she was selected over such fierce competition and is enjoying the role, which involves injury screening and tracking players’ progression after games.

Brittany strongly encourages students to participate in V Swans programs.  

“I’m still basking in the benefits,” she said passionately, “and I’m four / five years out of school”.

SDFC would like to congratulate Brittany on all her accomplishments and wish her continued success. We are pleased to hear so many positive stories from the end-users of our programs and services. This informs us and our major partner BHP and the support from Prime Minister and Cabinet that we are achieving our purpose – to develop people and activate community.