Simon Black – 2019 Address

To the students, staff, and supporters,

The Simon Black Australian Rules Academy had a stellar year in 2018, and we are gearing up for an even better year of footy and education in 2019. To the students returning from last year’s break – we welcome you back. To the new students commencing at our academy this year – I personally look forward to working with each one of you.

To date, more than 400 students have participated in our 3-Pillar Program (Academic, Football, and Personal Development), and we are extremely proud of our students’ achievements academically and on the Football field. With our fourth year of the Simon Black Academy program underway, I want to take this opportunity to discuss our academy, and what we have to look forward to this year.

I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to our 2018 students on their academic successes, with tremendous support from our tutors we continue to offer our students the tools they need to accomplish their academic goals. Made possible by our education partner Torrens University Australia, our Academic Program continues to offer quality higher education degrees to our new and existing students, with January intake students commencing their Diploma of Sport Development (Elite) this week. It has been great to see a high number of our existing students continue their academic journey with the academy to Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) degrees. We are excited to continue collaborating with Torrens University Australia to improve on our Academic Program, expanding on our focus of providing solid academic guidance and work experience opportunities within the sports industry to our students.

Our four-day-week Football Program has, over the course of the academy, significantly developed the skill capabilities and game awareness of our athletes. We are proud to have taken many of our athletes’ games to a new level and to have assisted in their understanding of what it takes to fulfil their potential on and off the field. With this in mind, we were thrilled to watch former Simon Black Academy Melbourne student, Tom Murphy, participate in several senior games throughout last year as a draftee of the North Melbourne Kangaroos.  I am excited to welcome back our Football coaching staff this year to push the limits of our 2019 students Australian Rules abilities.

While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an ‘Australian Rules Academy’, it has been clear that perhaps the most important aspect of the Simon Black Academy has been our Personal Development Program, which we are excited to expand upon this year. Students highlighted the value that they received from this program in mindfulnessleadershipstrength and conditioning, and nutrition. I have personally observed that these important life skills, along with our Individual Development Plans with a goal setting focus, have assisted in fostering our students to grow into more rounded, caring, and headstrong individuals who are ready to strongly chase their ambitions. Our intention is to expand on this program with an even greater focus on student welfare and well-being moving forward.

Furthermore, I am very excited to announce our expansion into Adelaide in February of this year, to be based at the historic Norwood Football Club. South Australia is a very proud and passionate Football state, and we believe a move into Adelaide is a natural fit for our program.

Thanks again to our students, coaches and staff who have been central to the success of the Simon Black Academy. I look forward to working with all of you over the course of the year and welcome anyone to reach out to us if you have any questions about the academy.

Simon Black

Football Director – Simon Black Academy