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Elite Athlete Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) is endorsed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) as an Elite Athlete Friendly University which means that the University supports the Australian Institute of Sport Guiding Principles for Implementation of the National Network of Elite Athlete Friendly Universities.

(2) This Policy outlines how the University supports students who are Elite Athletes, Pre Elite Athletes and Elite Sports Personnel including and beyond the special provisions that have been adopted under the Elite Athlete Friendly University Program to offer these students the flexibility and support they need to combine study with intensive training, competitive and/or practice commitments and ensure they are not disadvantaged academically as a consequence of their sporting commitment.

(3) This Policy sets out:

  1. the University's expectations for the Elite Athlete Friendly University Program including flexible entry, assessment, administration, attendance, financial assistance and other support which may be available to students granted Elite Athlete status as well as the expectations of students granted Elite Athlete status; and
  2. the University's commitment to supporting Pre Elite Athletes and Elite Sports Personnel.

Scope

(4) The provisions described in this Policy apply to students who are granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status by the University, subject to the context of the provisions.

(5) The processes and management of the program described in this Policy apply to administrative and academic staff involved in the recruitment, applications and admission process, as well as those in support or teaching of students granted Elite Athlete, Pre Elite Athlete or Elite Sports Personnel status by the University.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(6) For the purpose of this Policy unless otherwise indicated:

  1. Academic Programs - are a sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification;
  2. Elite Athlete Friendly University - means a university which is endorsed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) as being Elite Athlete friendly and which applies the special provisions adopted in the Elite Athlete Friendly University Program;
  3. Elite Athlete (Elite Athlete Friendly University Program definition) - means a person identified and recognised or a member of one of the following organisations as an "elite athlete or coach":
    1. Australian Institute of Sport;
    2. State Institutes or Academies of Sport;
    3. AFL Players' Association;
    4. Australian Cricketers' Association;
    5. Rugby Union Players' Association;
    6. Rugby League Professionals' Association;
    7. Australian Professional Footballers' Association;
    8. National squad members from Australian Sports Commission (ASC) funded sports; or
    9. senior/head coaches from state and territory institutes/academies of sport, national teams from Australian Sports Commission (ASC) funded sports or participating professional sports.
  4. Elite Athlete (Charles Sturt University definition) - means a person participating at the highest level of their sport or activity. In addition to athletes recognised under the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Program, the University will grant Elite Athlete status to athletes who are national representatives selected to participate in international sporting (or cultural) events and are identified and recognised by a national supporting body or association. Other representation will be considered on an individual basis. In all cases, proof of selection and participation will be required;
  5. Elite Athlete Register - means the official record maintained by the University of details of all students of the University granted Elite Athlete, Pre Elite Athlete or Elite Sports Personnel status;
  6. Elite Sports Personnel - are support people involved at the highest level of their sport or sports related activity. This includes referees, officials and support staff with the same travel and training commitments as Elite Athletes. The University will grant Elite Sports Personnel status to those involved at the national representative level and those who are identified as being associated with a national supporting body or association. Other representation will be considered on an individual basis. In all cases, proof of involvement will be required;
  7. National Sporting Organisation (NSO) - is the organisation recognised by government and the majority of playing participants as the national representative for that sport (as identified by the Australian Sports Commission Sports Governance Principles);
  8. Pre Elite Athletes - are athletes that have been recognised for their potential to attain high honours in their selected sport through recognition by a regional academy or NSO and its associated pathway for their chosen sport;
  9. Residential School - means any face to face teaching for online learning students either on campus or off campus residential or otherwise;
  10. School - refers to the relevant academic school within the University responsible for administering the Academic Program being undertaken by the student. Students seeking study assistance should contact their school administrative officer in the first instance (refer to Section 3 - Policy, Part B);
  11. Special Consideration - means recognition of and adjustment for commitments or unexpected circumstances that are outside the students control, which have a significant adverse impact on their preparation for application to university;
  12. University - means Charles Sturt University.
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Section 3 - Policy

Policy Statement

(7) Charles Sturt University supports Elite Athletes, Elite Sports Personnel and Pre Elite Athletes. The University will grant special consideration to accommodate sporting commitments such as intensive training, competitive and or practice committments.

(8) Schools and Academic Programs within the University, with the exception of those listed in Schedules 1-13 which support this Policy (access via the 'Associated Information' tab of this Policy page), offer special consideration and study support to students granted Elite Athlete, Pre Elite Athlete and Elite Sports Personnel status in the following ways:

  1. allow deferral of Course;
  2. allow additional Leave of Absence;
  3. allow alternative arrangements for class attendance and/or participation requirements;
  4. allow exemption from Residential Schools/s;
  5. allow alternative exam arrangements; and
  6. allow extension/s to deadlines for submission of assessment items.

(9) Full details of the special consideration and study support available from each Faculty or School are outlined in Schedule 1-13 in associated information accompanying this Policy.

(10) Special consideration for admission may be given to students identified as Elite Athletes, Pre Elite Athletes and Elite Sports Personnel as outlined in the Special Consideration Policy for admission guidelines and procedures.

Part A - Granting Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel and Pre Elite Athlete status

(11) The University will nominate a staff member to act as the Elite Athlete Coordinator for the University. The Elite Athlete Coordinator will provide advice to staff and students in regard to the application of this Policy as well as provide recommendations to the University for the granting of Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to Charles Sturt University students in accordance with this Policy.

(12) The University will, on the recommendation of the Elite Athlete Coordinator, grant students Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status as applicable pursuant to the Procedures set out in Section 4 - Procedures.

(13) The University has the authority to grant Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to students who fall outside of the definitions contained in Section 2 - Glossary on the recommendation of the Elite Athlete Coordinator where they:

  1. are national representatives selected to participate in international sporting (or cultural) events and are identified and recognised by a national supporting body or association; and
  2. can prove they have a relevant opportunity for representation.

Part B - Special Consideration and Support for Elite Athletes, Pre Elite Athletes and Elite Sports Personnel

Admissions/Entry assistance

(14) The University recognises that for Elite or Pre- Elite Athletes, training or competitive commitments may have significantly affected their preparation for application to University.

(15) Prospective students whose extensive commitments to training or competition may have significantly affected their preparation for application to University may be eligible to apply for Special Consideration for Admission (SCA), which may be given to students identified as Elite Athletes, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athletes who have competed at a national level.

(16) In all cases, proof of selection and participation will be required in the form of a statement from the student's school or educational institution detailing absences from study for competition purposes and a statement from the student's coach or manager confirming the level of competition and the required hours per day for training. Statements must be on letterhead. Applicants should include any other certificates and documentation that may be appropriate to identify their representation at an elite level.

(17) Applications for SCA will be sent to Faculty staff for consideration of an offer, pre-offer or alternative based on Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR)/grades and other documentation provided. SCA applicants will be advised their application has been assessed via the email address they have provided on the application form, and will be advised of an offer into the course of their choice through the University Admissions office (if direct application) and/or the Universities Admissions Centre through which they have applied.

Staff

(18) The Elite Athlete Coordinator will:

  1. undertake advocacy for, and provide advice about Elite Athletes, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athletes within the University as required;
  2. liaise with relevant internal and external organisations in order to identify Elite Athletes;
  3. maintain the Elite Athlete Register which lists current students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status;
  4. reassess Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status of identified students annually at the commencement of Session One; and
  5. distribute the Elite Athlete Register to relevant Schools at the beginning of each session and make available online, schools will be notified at any other time of the year when an addition or deletion is made to the Register.

Special Consideration and Study support

(19) Special consideration and study support will be provided to students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status by all Schools within the University with the exception of the Schools and Academic Programs listed in the Schedules 1-13 accompanying this Policy in associated information (access via the 'Associated Information' tab of this Policy page).

(20) The University's Academic Senate may choose to grant an extension of the maximum time limit allowed for completion of an Academic Program to students granted Elite Athlete status on a case by case basis where it is reasonable that the student's intensive ongoing commitment to their chosen sport does not allow them to complete the Academic Program in the time allowed.

(21) Schools will provide flexibility for students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status on the basis of documented commitments to their chosen sport, (such as intensive training or competitions), in consultation with Subject Coordinators as required. Assistance will not be provided retrospectively, but only for subjects in which the student is currently enrolled. Schools may provide the following consideration and support as appropriate;

  1. allow deferral;
  2. grant additional leave of absence;
  3. alternative arrangements for class attendance and participation requirements may be made (for example, this may include waiver of attendance or participation requirement where relevant);
  4. exemption from Residential School;
  5. alternative exam arrangements (will be made in accordance with the Examination Guidelines - Special Conditions in Exams); or
  6. extensions to deadlines for submission of assessment items.

Special consideration- Exams and assessments

(22) Students granted Elite Athlete status fall under the Special Consideration Regulation for Misadventure refer to extenuating circumstances in Section 3 of the Special Consideration Policy.

(23) In the first instance, students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status should work with the Elite Athlete Coordinator to liaise with schools. Alternatively, the student should email the relevant Subject Coordinator to provide an explanation of the situation and request support and flexibility as per this Policy to allow them to continue their studies.

(24) The formal channel to request assistance is through the University's Special Consideration Request form. Students can get assistance with this process from Student Liaison Officers. Students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status should indicate their recognised status on the Special Consideration Form. This form is to apply for:

  1. Approved Withdrawal (AW);
  2. Grade Pending (GP);
  3. Supplementary exam (SX);
  4. exemption from compulsory residential school; and
  5. exemption from compulsory practical class.

(25) Students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status are expected to plan for known commitments such as regular training or travel commitments well in advance, and should consult their School about any study assistance they need as early as possible.

(26) The University recognises that the nature and extent of commitments to a sports activity can be unpredictable and outside a student's control, however the timing of requests may impact on the University's capacity to put in place arrangements for study assistance. In such circumstances the University may not be able to grant study assistance.

(27) The University will make every effort to consider students' Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status when reviewing applications for cross-institutional study by Charles Sturt University students wishing to undertake study elsewhere, and other students wishing to undertake study at Charles Sturt University.

(28) The Elite Athlete Coordinator can provide advice and assistance to Schools and the relevant Course Director who receive requests for study assistance on the grounds of Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status where students eligibility for particular forms of assistance is unclear.

(29) Schools will refer requests for study assistance on the grounds of Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to the Course Director for the relevant Academic Program for determination where students' eligibility for particular forms of assistance is unclear.

(30) The Course Director will refer new/additional types of special consideration request for study assistance on the grounds of Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), who may seek advice from the Academic Board, for determination where students' eligibility for particular forms of assistance is unclear.

Part C - Financial Assistance for Elite Athletes

(31) Financial support in the form of a one off sponsorship arrangement is available (upon application), to students granted Elite Athlete status where they have been selected to compete at an identified international level competition taking place either in Australia or overseas to assist with costs borne directly by the student (ie: not fully funded by a national sporting organisation or association). Sponsorship may be applied for only once per student per year.

(32) To be eligible for financial support the student may be required to work with the Division of Marketing and Communication on public relations activities which may include:

  1. acknowledge the support of the University in media appearances relating to the supported sporting event;
  2. general image release for use by the University to promote the University and its Academic Programs;
  3. providing testimonials;
  4. be available to contact during the relevant sporting event;
  5. allow the University to republish relevant social media commentary made by the student; and
  6. be willing to provide commentary on relevant sporting events.

(33) Students granted Elite Athlete, or Pre Elite Athlete status living on campus at the University may be entitled to finiancial support across areas such as accommodation, meal credits, scholarships etc refer to individual schedules for details.

(34) Scholarships may be available for Elite Athletes.

Part D - Appeals

(35) Students may submit a complaint or grievance in relation to the application of this procedure in accordance with the Complaints Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Principles

(36) As an Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU), the University supports the Australian Institute of Sports Guiding Principles for Implementation of the National Network of Elite Athlete Friendly Universities.

(37) If a student does not fall within the definitions of Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete as contained in Section 2- Glossary they may still submit an application for consideration as an Elite Athlete to the University if they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in Section 3 - Policy, Part A of this Policy. The Personal Excellence section of the Australian Institute of Sport will act as a representative from the Australian Sports Commission (the parent body of the Australian Institute of Sport) to investigate, verify and make a recommendation.

Procedures

Student

(38) Each year the student will submit an application for Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to the Elite Athlete Coordinator by email at eliteathlete@csu.edu.au. The application must outline their sporting background as appropriate having regard to the definition of each status as contained in Section 2- Glossary. Relevant documentation which supports their application must also be included. This could be letters or statements of recognition from the relevant national sporting body or association or evidence of participation in national and international sporting events.

Elite Athlete Coordinator

(39) The Elite Athlete Coordinator will review all applications in association with the Personal Excellence section of the Australian Institute of Sport who will act as a representative from the Australian Sports Commission to investigate, verify and make a recommendation to the Course Director to grant Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status where relevant.

Notification

(40) For applications denied Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status the Elite Athlete Coordinator will send a formal response letter to the student explaining why the requested status was not granted.

(41) Students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status will receive a formal response letter from the University congratulating them on their status and outlining the conditions of their status including entitlements to special consideration and the duration of their current status, (being one year).

Records

(42) The Elite Athlete Coordinator will file all applications and supporting documentation along with the outcome in the University's Banner Document Management System and will add students granted Elite Athlete, Elite Sports Personnel or Pre Elite Athlete status to the Elite Athlete Register. Documentation will be held in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles and the University's Privacy Management Plan.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(43) Nil.