Over the next few months, we will be profiling the Directors of Sport from the eight co-educational schools that participate in The Associated Schools (TAS). It’s an exciting opportunity to provide a deeper look into each of our member schools and hear their unique stories, achievements and future plans.
John Paul College
To kick things off, we spoke with Julie Maroske, Head of Sport & Activities at John Paul College (JPC), to learn more about integrating their sporting activities and school values and promoting a culture of wellbeing through TAS.
How Does Being A TAS Member School Align With Your School’s Values?
John Paul College’s values are:
- Mutual Respect
Julie is proud of JPC’s values and how they closely align with the ethos of TAS through the shared focus on holistic development. She went on to say that TAS has a foundation of comradery and participation that is reflected at JPC through their culturally diverse and harmonious community, as well as their extensive range of opportunities available to all students.
Students are at the heart of all they do at JPC and this is embodied in their purpose: ‘To Educate, To Inspire, To Make a Difference’.
What TAS Achievements Are You Most Proud Of?
JPC is incredibly proud of their clean sweep at the TAS carnivals a few years ago, where they were the first TAS school to win the swimming, cross country and athletics carnivals all in the same year! It was a fantastic achievement. Well done JPC. They also have a long history of success in basketball and football with numerous champion school titles to their name.
As with our other partner schools, JPC values the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for excellent causes through sport with two major biennial charity rounds. Julie shares how this year, their highly anticipated Pink Round provided the touching sight of the First XV rugby team in pink jerseys, walking onto the field hand-in-hand with their mums and other special women in their lives. JPC hosts an Indigenous Round that acknowledges the traditional owners of our shared land and pays respects to Elders past, present and emerging through a Welcome to Country, the national anthem sung in both the Yugambeh and English languages and a smoking ceremony conducted by a local Elder.
JPC is also proud of its many Alumni who have gone on from playing TAS sport to achieving outstanding success at elite levels, most notably with eight of their Alumni representing Australia at the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Julie said their Alumni are one of their greatest sources of pride and they continue to be outstanding role models to current students.
How Do You Encourage Sporting Participation & Wellbeing At John Paul College?
Julie explained that all students from Years Four through to Twelve are committed to participating in their co-curricular program, which contributes to the life and culture of JPC. In addition to this, most of their students engage in multiple sports and activities throughout the year.
Student achievements and successes are recognised and celebrated frequently, with Julie mentioning that JPC’s House and sporting student Captains are fantastic role models for their programs.
On behalf of JPC, Julie believes that exposure to sport’s physical, mental and social benefits begins right from Prep. This is why they offer a Foundation Sports program and several official grassroots junior development programs. These programs are provided early on through Primary School and allow students to experience a range of sports skills in a fun and engaging environment.
Sporting participation, overall wellbeing and healthy lifestyles are also supported through JPC’s Physical Education curriculum, Academic Welfare and Chaplaincy programs which aid students in all aspects of their social, academic and co-curricular pathways.
They are now offering new initiatives, such as Rugby Sevens, and are continuing traditional fun events, such as their interhouse Ring Road Relay. Julie said this means there is always something fun and exciting on the sporting calendar for their students to enjoy!
Who Are The Sporting Facilities Like At John Paul College?
Everyone at JPC is incredibly fortunate to enjoy beautiful, world-class playing surfaces on their three ovals at the Cec Munns Sports Centre, with an additional two ovals on the main campus. The Coleman Centre has two indoor multi-purpose courts and also boasts a commercial grade gymnasium with a weight training facility. JPC also has a heated ten-lane 25m swimming pool and several outdoor courts for competition and recreation for various sports.
Julie was delighted to share that they are also currently working on exciting plans to expand their sporting facilities in the near future, enabling programs to expand. Watch this space!
What Sporting Partnerships Does John Paul College Have?
JPC students enjoy additional opportunities for participation and development through year-round extra-curricular offerings such as club sport. Club sport allows students to participate in teams at local junior club competitions in basketball, cricket, netball and football.
Julie spoke highly of the strategic partnerships JPC has with industry specialists who offer additional training and competition opportunities, including Absolute Aquatics, Cambridge Tennis, Football Connection Academy and Fast Track Athletics. Their High Performance Academy also has a unique collaboration with Queensland Ballet where students can take part in a pilot program of hybrid ballet classes and strength and conditioning testing. This program is designed to improve physical outcomes and instil the habits and discipline modeled by professional athletes.
Why Do You Believe It’s Important For Students To Participate In Sport?
Julie voiced that sport is such a universal and powerful medium for positive youth development, extending far beyond the obvious physical benefits of activity. Sport promotes essential and transferable life skills such as resilience, discipline and teamwork while playing a valuable role in the holistic development of students.
She shared with us an inspiring quote from Nelson Mandela, spoken at the 2000 Laureus World Sports Awards, which read:
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does… It speaks to youth in a language they understand.”
We couldn’t agree more, Julie!
What Opportunities & Support Does John Paul College Offer Elite Athletes?
JPC’s High Performance Academy nurtures the growth and goals of aspiring elite athletes through a specialised approach to holistic athlete development.
This allows JPC’s high-performing student-athletes to develop elite training habits and the discipline to support their aspirations through:
- Individualised strength and conditioning programs;
- Personal wellbeing monitoring and management; and
- Access to educational workshops delivered by professionals.
What Opportunities & Support Does John Paul College Offer General Athletes?
JPC currently offers Sports Academies in basketball, cricket, netball and volleyball. These academies offer students of all levels a year-round, inclusive training program designed to support and complement TAS and Junior TAS programs.
In addition to building sequential, fundamental skills and increasing sporting participation, the academy program also embeds core strength and fitness principles with regular physical testing conducted with the JPC High Performance Co-ordinator. To accompany this, all academy students receive individual progress reports to track and support their development.
Can You Tell Us More About How John Paul College Celebrates Interhouse Sports Carnivals?
Julie said that interhouse carnivals are one of the highlights of the JPC calendar, characterised by their strong participation rates, excellent performances and a positive, energetic atmosphere. She said their houses were named in honour of some of the founding clergy from different faiths who pioneered the movement to establish Queensland’s first Independent Ecumenical College.
In addition to crowning a Champion House at each carnival, JPC also awards a Spirit Trophy to the house that has shown the most support and enthusiasm throughout the event.
What Do You Think Sets TAS Member Schools Apart From Other Private Schools?
Julie kindly told us that as Queensland’s premier co-educational school sporting competition, TAS combines the values of inclusivity and participation while encouraging students to strive for excellence. This is what sets TAS apart from other institutions.
John Paul College is proud to be a TAS member school and we’re honoured to have their students participating in our competitions.