Through the Flinders Elite Athlete Program, students learn the importance of health and wellbeing, and how to recognise the support networks around them.
Launched in 2021, FEAP's aim is to mentor, inspire and support our young athletes to develop healthy and positive life skills and character traits. The program supports young people who are striving to reach their potential in their sporting lives, and also in the classroom.
Here we share a profile with FEAP athlete, Callum Simpson.
Note from the Flinders Elite Athlete Program Director, Ms Lauren Nourse:
"Callum is a vibrant and valued member of the Flinders community. It’s wonderful to see his hard work pay off with so many exceptional results. Callum has set himself clear goals on what he wants to achieve and I am confident we will see him representing Australia proudly in the coming years."
Callum, which sport are you focused on and what are some of your achievements?
My proudest sporting achievement over the last year was competing at the Australian Age Nationals where I won my first two Australian Age Nationals medals, a silver in the 50-metre fly and a bronze in the 400-metre freestyle. I also had a great Queensland Long Course Championships in December where I won eight gold medals in the 50-metre, 100-metre, 200-metre and 400-metre freestyle as well as the 50-metre and 100-metre butterfly and 50-metre and 100-metre backstroke. I also made five Open Men's finals at these championships as well. At the recent Queensland Sprint Championship, I won my first Open Men’s silver medal in the 50-metre freestyle. I am currently ranked No. 1 in Australia for my age and swimming classification in my favourite events.
What are your sporting goals for 2021 and beyond?
My primary sporting goal for 2022 is to go one better this year and win a gold medal in one of the ten events I have qualified for at the Australian Age Nationals. My greatest competition is myself and I hope to continue improving my personal performance.
My long term goal is to make the Australian Paralympics team and represent Australia at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
What are your academic goals at Flinders?
My academic goals at Flinders are to continue working hard, striving to do my very best whilst embracing all that Flinders has to offer.
What support do you appreciate accessing through FEAP?
FEAP has afforded me the added benefits of flexibility, allowing me to better manage my busy training schedule and competition load. I have been incredibly supported in improving my time management skills, ensuring that I am always across my academic and sporting commitments.
Please share some new skills and strategies you have learnt through FEAP?
With Mrs Nourse’s guidance, I have found that my time management skills have already improved significantly. Together, we have implemented strategies to ensure I manage my training and competition calendar effectively whilst continuing to deliver on deadlines and maintain sustainable study habits throughout the year.
What has been your favourite FEAP workshop?
Last year, we were joined by Keely Andrew who shared with us what it was like to be an athlete growing up on the Sunshine Coast. It was really interesting to hear about her experiences of life on the professional surfing tour and learn tips for balancing life as an athlete and student. Keely spoke of the challenges she has faced and how she overcame them, and how she now can travel the world doing the sport that she loves. It was very inspiring.
What do you enjoy about the FEAP?
I have enjoyed spending time with like-minded athletes and having the support, guidance and mentorship of Mrs Nourse. The free lunches are also an added bonus!
Who are your role models?
My two favourite sporting role models are Braeden Jason and Brendon Hall. Both on the Paralympic Australia Swim Team, Braeden and Brendan are great inspirations for me. I know Braeden personally and I’ve witnessed firsthand just how hard he trains, how diligently he prepares and how fiercely he competes. Everything he does, he does with a smile on his face, always having fun and encouraging others along the way. That kind of positive attitude is so important and is what makes him such an inspiration to me, in and out of the pool.