It's important that student athletes at Matthew Flinders Anglican College have the opportunity to develop their passion for their sport while making their academic years count. To provide this focused support, the College has introduced the new Flinders Elite Athlete Program (FEAP).
Here we profile Year 9 FEAP student, Kirra Tappenden - who is also part of our Flinders Scholarship Program - to learn more about her passion for netball and AFL.
Note from Director, Flinders Elite Athlete Program, Ms Lauren Nourse:
“Kirra has worked really hard and is balancing her commitments well. As a multi-sport athlete she continues to strive and excel in many different sports and sets a positive example at school for others to do the same.”
What are some of your sporting achievements?
Kira: My main sports are netball and AFL. My biggest achievements so far include in 2018 being selected for the U12s School Girls QLD team for netball where we travelled to Darwin to compete. We achieved second place. Later in the year, I was selected for the U12s Indoor Netball QLD team where we won 6-a-side and I was named Player of the Final. We also came runners up in the 7-a-side competition. After Nationals, I also made the Australian Indoor Netball team. In 2019 I made the U14s Indoor Queensland team where we won both 6- and 7-a-side National Titles. Last year, I played at the U16 Indoor Netball State Titles for Beenleigh, where we won. I was selected into the AFL Regional team in 2020 and also in 2021. This year, I was also selected for the Regional netball team.
What are your sporting goals for 2021 and beyond?
I am aiming to get into the U15 School Girls Queensland team for netball and, possibly, AFL. In the future, I am hoping to become a professional sportswoman.
What are your academic goals at Flinders?
I aim to keep on topic and stay focused during class, trying to achieve my best marks.
What support do you appreciate accessing through FEAP?
Thanks to FEAP, I’m now able to organise my timetable and be more independent about knowing my schedule. I’ve also realised that to be the best I can be in my sports, I have to put in the effort. This has inspired me to go to the gym twice a week and to do fitness exercises at home frequently.
Please share some new skills and strategies you have learnt through FEAP?
I’m learning that everyone makes mistakes and it’s not the end of your sporting career if you miss out on a team or something. You just have to work harder for it. This mindset gives me the motivation that when something goes wrong, I don’t have to dread it; I just have to come back stronger.
What has been a favourite FEAP workshop?
I enjoyed the FEAP session with Bo Hansen because he pointed out all the strategies to becoming the best you can be in your sporting area. During the workshop, we watched a video that taught us when something bad happens, you just have to find the good lessons that come out of it. You then try to work out how you can change the situation from bad to good.
What do you enjoy about FEAP?
With the short time I’ve been involved in FEAP, I have already learnt so much and it has benefited me in many areas, especially creating a healthier mindset.
Who are your role models?
I idolise Australian netballer Mahalia Cassidy because she is always so joyful and friendly. She makes me want to be a better person.