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About School Sport Victoria

About School Sport Victoria

School Sport Victoria (SSV) is the peak body for School Sport in Victoria. SSV is a sub-committee of the Department of Education and Training.

School Sport Victoria is a merge of the Victorian Primary Schools' Sports Association and the Victorian Secondary Schools' Sports Association that occurred during 2009 and was established January 1, 2010. The two member associations have steered a school sport program for over 2,300 schools, all Victorian primary schools, government and non-government and all Victorian government secondary schools. These two associations existed for over 100 years providing an ongoing interschool sport program for Victorian students.

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School Sport Victoria will actively promote school sport for all Victorian school students as a means of supporting schools programs in developing their students' health and wellbeing. School Sport Victoria will do this by:

  • providing strategic leadership for Victorian School Sport;
  • providing regular sporting competition that embraces an educational approach in developing students’ appreciation and carriage of respected community values;
  • advocating recognition for School Sport leadership at all levels;
  • maximising participation opportunities for all school students in competition that is commensurate with their age and ability;
  • promoting school and community partnerships through sport; and
  • governing SSV to promote the efficient and effective administration of School Sport.

Download this general brochure as a PDF.

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Mission Statement

To be the State and National leader in providing quality sporting opportunities in the school environment for all school age children in Victoria.

Download this general brochure as a PDF.

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Operating Procedures

Please click here to view School Sport Victoria's Operating Procedures.

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Our Ambassadors

School Sport Victoria is very fortunate to have a wonderful group of ambassadors who support and advocate the importance of school sport. These include Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth Games medallists and ground-breaking academics – all people who have attained the pinnacle of their career. SSV is indebted to each and every one of them who volunteer their time to promote school sport in a variety of roles.


Professor Richard (Dick) Telford AM

''Physical activity is important to the health, physical and psychological development of all children, particularly in the 21st century and beyond. Cultural and social changes are resulting in a more sedentary lifestyle for many young people. Schools play a significant role in developing attitudes towards physical activity and sport that may last a lifetime.''

Professor Richard (Dick) Telford was appointed as an SSV ambassador for his ground breaking Australian research in the LOOK study (Lifestyle of Our Kids) which highlights the benefits of high quality school sport and physical education for Australian students. This research is invaluable for sports coordinators, teachers, principals and schools. Professor Telford also has an elite level coaching background and is a fantastic advocate of school sport.

As an untiring contributor to Australian sports science, education, athletics and sports coaching, for the last four decades Professor Telford has combined his research work in metabolic physiology with hands-on sports science and coaching. Initially involved in Australian Rules football and cricket as a player and coach, in 1981 he took up an inaugural position in sports science at the Australian Institute of Sport. His sports science work then switched to our Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes, where he coached Australia’s only Olympic marathon medallist and several Commonwealth games gold medallists.

Currently, Professor Telford is Research Director and architect of the LOOK project with the Clinical Investigations Unit at the Canberra Hospital, University of Canberra and the Australian National University. This multidisciplinary, collaborative, long-term study concentrates on the effect of lifestyle, particularly physical activity, sport and physical education, on the development and wellbeing of our children, with the ultimate vision being to determine how early lifestyle affects quality of life in old age.

Professor Telford has published widely, including about 100 peer reviewed research articles and several book chapters on preventive medicine and sports science, and was awarded an Order of Australia in 1992 for his contribution to sport and sports science.


Steve Hooker

Olympic Gold Medallist


Aussie pole vault sensation and Olympic Gold Medallist Steve Hooker shares SSV’s passion and commitment to providing inspiring sporting and educational opportunities for all school-aged students in Victoria. Steve is the first Australian man to ever hold both the Olympic and World Titles concurrently. As one of the stars of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Steve became the first Australian field athlete to win Olympic gold in 60 years, the first Australian male track or field gold medallist since 1968 and the first Australian athletics Olympic champion since Cathy Freeman in 2000.

Steve brings a wealth of experience to the SSV team, not only through his career as an Olympian, but also through his own school sport journey. As a former Team Vic member himself, Steve is passionate about his role as an SSV ambassador, speaking at key functions and forums and presenting medals at annual state track and field events. His inspirational messages to schools, teachers and students centre on the benefits that school sport brings to an individual.


Daisy Pearce

Premiership Captain, Victorian Captain, Number 1 Draft Pick

''There are qualities I have that contribute to my performance and ability as an athlete that I have learnt from applying myself academically and vice-versa.''

Widely regarded as the number one female footballer in the land, Daisy Pearce is an inspirational footballer. Being a former Team Vic member, Daisy is keen to inspire the next generation of footballers and sportspeople in general through school visits and speaking at SSV events. Daisy launched her SSV Ambassador role with an inspirational talk to 75 Year 7 girls at Northcote High School followed by a skills and drills session in their gymnasium.

''I always really enjoyed school and from an early age was taught to try my best at everything I did. A healthy competition between my older brother and I helped to drive my desire to work hard at school and even harder at sport in an attempt to be better than he was.  I played football, tennis, netball, basketball, cricket, and always enjoyed school athletics, swimming and cross country carnivals. I also competed in snowboarding for our school snow sports team.

When I moved to Melbourne and started school at Eltham High I quickly got involved in the strong volleyball program. I played in the Team Vic U/16 Volleyball Team in Canberra in 2003 and also represented Victoria in Volleyball at U/17’s level.

Nearly every recess and lunch time that I can recall throughout all of my school days were spent on the oval or in the stadium playing sport. Not only did I love being physically active it was also a great social outlet and a good way to meet friends, particularly given that I moved schools a couple of times. My closest friends now are friends that I met playing school sport with and against. As much as I loved my sport and am proud of what I have achieved as an athlete I am glad I was able to focus academically and do my best in other aspects of my school life as well. My strongest subjects at school were maths, science and literature. I wasn’t a natural in the arts but I always had a go. In my VCE year I studied Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Math Methods and Specialist Mathematics. Ironically I didn’t even do PE! I genuinely believe that being good at sport and trying your best to learn and apply yourself academically are not exclusive of one another. There are qualities I have that contribute to my performance and ability as an athlete that I have learnt from applying myself academically and vice-versa.

In 2005, whilst playing school football for Eltham High, I learned from the umpire of one of our matches that there was a women’s Australian Rules football league. Within weeks I was lining up for the Darebin Falcons in my first senior football game at the age of 16.''

Video interviews with Daisy:

Journey through Team Vic (1:24)

Launch of the Women’s AFL(4:44)



Ashleigh Brennan

Dual Olympian, Dual Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, 3 Times World Championship Team Member, National Champion and Victorian Female Athlete of the Year

''My passion for sport and specifically gymnastics came when I joined my local gymnastics club as a 7 year old for fun. As the sport quickly progressed for me I experienced 3 different primary schools to accommodate my gymnastics needs as I moved closer to where I trained. Beginning at St Michael’s Primary School in Berwick, moving to Mentone Park Primary School and then Stonnington Primary School when the gym relocated to Prahran.

I made my first National team as a 13 year old and was a National Team member from 2004 to 2012 whilst completing high school at Melbourne Girls’ College in Richmond. As gymnastics is generally a young sport for girls, I was experiencing the demands of elite sport that most athletes would go through in their mid to late 20s. Melbourne Girls’ College provided me with the assistance to achieve my sporting and academic goals such as going to the Beijing Olympics during year 12.

I was fortunate enough to finish my gymnastics career as a two time Olympian, dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a three-time world championship team member. Since retiring after the London Olympics, I am now completing a Master in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation). I remain involved in the sport, speaking publically where opportunities present and by introducing primary school children to gymnastics, showing them the benefits of building strong foundations through these skills.''

Video interviews with Ashleigh:

Coping with pressure from a young age (4:21)

Try as many sports as you can (1:47)



Richard Colman

Paralympian and former SSV Team Vic representative



''Being part of SSV team is one way I can help as many athletes as possible, on and off the track, to be successful in life.''

Richard was born in 1984 with Spina Bifida. He took to sport at a young age and was involved in many sports before the love of athletics took his full attention.
Richard first competed at the SSV Primary Schools State Championships in 1995, while in Year 4, and then made his first SSV team in 1996 for the Pacific School Games in Perth. Since then he has competed in many national and international competitions.
Richard says: ''I am very passionate about School Sport Victoria because this is where my sporting life began 20 years ago. And without that opportunity, I would never have achieved what I have in that time or been able to be an athlete and had the experiences I have around the world. I am now coaching and helping the next generation of athletes and hopefully future Australian stars. Being part of SSV team is one way I can help as many athletes as possible, on and off the track, to be successful in life.''
Richard first competed for Australia at the 2002 IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, where he came away with a Bronze medal in the T53 400m. Two years later, at his first Paralympic Games in Athens, Richard won Gold in the T53 800m and Silver in the 4x100m.
In 2006 Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 800m at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Assen, The Netherlands, followed in 2008 by Silver in the T53 200m and Bronze in the T53 400m at the Beijing Paralympic Games.
In 2010 Richard competed at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, in the T54 1500m, winning a silver medal. Then in 2011 he won his first IPC World Athletics Championship gold medal, in the T53 800m, and silver in the T53 400m. In the same year Richard also won the T53 400m Gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Deagu, South Korea.

You can view highlights of Richard’s career achievements on this short video (0:55).

Richard is a keen traveller and has now visited 60 countries with the aim of competing in 100. He continues to play wheelchair basketball in the local Geelong league and regularly swims as part of his cross training.

We are pleased to have Richard on the on the SSV coaching team and as a School Sport Victoria Ambassador.



Kelly Hetherington

Australian 800m Athlete

''The lessons you learn on the sporting field such as teamwork, communication and determination are skills I use daily in my life.''

As a sport obsessed child, Kelly participated in many sports, where she found she had a knack for running fast. Kelly was successful as a junior athlete winning several State and National track and cross country championships.  Throughout her childhood Kelly continued to run, proudly representing her school and local club, Glenhuntly, where she achieved a high level of success.

Kelly says: ''I am passionate about being a SSV ambassador as I believe sport is such a crucial physical, mental, emotional and social part of children's and adult development. Sport was a huge part of my life growing up and still is a huge part today. The lessons you learn on the sporting field such as teamwork, communication and determination are skills I use daily in my life.''

After achieving 2nd place in the 800m at the National Championships, Kelly represented Australia on the senior team at the 2011 World University Games where she made the semi-finals. She continued to progress through senior ranks with her breakthrough year in 2013 when she was undefeated in the Australian season, went on to win the National Open 800m title and qualified for the 2013 World Championships. She was selected in the 2014 Commonwealth Games team but sadly withdraw due to injury. In 2015 Kelly was a member of the 4x800m World Relay team which successfully took the bronze medal.

After not getting the results she was striving for in 2014 and 2015, Kelly’s sights are firmly set on the 2016 Rio Olympics and beyond that a home Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Kelly feels very lucky that she is able to travel the world, meet amazing people, and compete at the highest level of the sport.  She hopes that through her running and interaction with the public she can inspire some of Australia’s next generation to compete in the sport that she loves.

Proud Achievements:
2013  Australian Open Championship-   800m 1st
2011 Australian Open Championship-   800m 2nd

2015 Victorian State Championships  800m 2nd
2014 Victorian State Championships  800m 3rd
2013 Victorian State Championships  800m 1st

2015  World Relays Championship  4x800m 3rd
2014  Selected for the Comm Games (withdrew due to injury)
2013  World Championship representative 800m
2011  World University Games   800m Semi Finalist

Watch this short video (2:11) interview with Kelly.


Matthew Haanappel OAM

2012 Paralympic Swimming Gold Medallist, 3 Time Australian Representative, World Championship Medallist

''School Sport is one of the most amazing things that a school kid can experience in their educational career.''

Matthew Haanappel was born in 1994 with Cerebral Palsy. His sporting career was supported from the beginning as he was born into a strong sporting family, which includes retired Tour de France winner Cadel Evans AM.

As a young boy Matthew competed in a wide range of sport and recreational activities. Many of these were within the school sport system where he competed for his school in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. His sports included Aussie Rules Football, Basketball, Tee-Ball, Cricket and Tennis. 

Matthew first competed in his chosen sport of swimming at the 2005 VPSSA State Swimming Championships at age 11, where he won a gold medal in the 50m Freestyle for Students with a Disability - a medal that he treasures dearly to this day. He was selected for his first Team Vic Swimming Team in 2008, competing in the Pacific School Games in Canberra. Matthew was again selected for Team Vic in 2009, 2011 and 2013, as well as 2012 where he was Team Captain. He regards the Team Vic Swim Team as his “family” because of all the wonderful experiences he has had with them.

Matthew represented Australia at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, winning a Gold and Bronze medal for the Freestyle and Medley Relay respectively. In 2013 he won his first international individual medal, a Bronze in the 100m Freestyle S6 at the IPC Swimming World Championships. 2014 took him to the Pan Pacific Championships in Los Angeles, returning home with 3 Gold, 2 Silver and a Bronze Medal, as well as joining Swimming Australia’s Paralympic Squad at the Australian Institute of Sport.

On Australian Day 2014 Matthew was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to sport and the community as a Gold Medallist and supporter of many community programs.

Matthew took most of the 2015 swimming season off to recover from shoulder surgery in preparation to be selected for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games team.

Outside of swimming, Matthew is studying a Sports Management degree at the University of Canberra, supports many disability organisations throughout Victoria and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Speaking on School Sport, Matthew says: “I have always said that School Sport is one of the most amazing things that a school kid can experience in their educational career. The benefits of school sport and physical education go beyond the field of play. The physical, emotional and mental benefits will take them beyond their school careers and into their working and further life. What really excites me about becoming an ambassador with School Sport Victoria is being able to assist in the development of the key skills that school kids can get out of playing or being involved in school sport.''

Watch this short video (3:43) of Matthew's journey from Team Vic to Olympic Gold.

Su Oh

Pro Golfer and former Team Vic Representative


“I am proud to be an SSV ambassador after my really positive school sport experiences and I look forward to inspiring the next generation of young golfers!

So Oh is a true product of the School Sport Victoria inter-school program and “Team Vic” representative pathway.

“I really first started getting inspired by golf when I played in the Victorian Primary School Golf Championships.”

“I really enjoyed being part of “Team Vic”, going to the School Sport Australia National Golf Championships in grades 4, 5 and 6.

Other career highlights have included “Going to the US for the first time to play… and winning the Espiritio Santo Trophy as a team. Oh, and probably the day I found out I was ranked world number one as an amateur too.

Oh, who attended McKinnon Primary and McKinnon Secondary Schools, had an impressive collection of achievements even from an early age. Su won the Primary School Golf Championships, and also received a coveted Victorian Sporting Blue Award, in 2009. 

These National Championships and achievements elevated her to even greater heights with Su’s latest and greatest achievement being selected to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics.

Further Reading:

Mike Clayton recently interviewed Su Oh, read the article

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Libby Birch

Team Vic Netball Alumni, dual athlete


Libby Birch is best known for her successful netball career, having represented Victoria in many competitions over the past 10 years.

But she has also had great success on the hockey pitch, and recently she nabbed one of a small number of coveted positions in the first Women’s AFL League, representing the Western Bulldogs.
With all this success, it may be difficult to believe that Birch has had some tough breaks along the way, but this is indeed her
experience. As she notes, “sport is a very special thing. It can be full of thrills and happiness but equally it is full of challenges, obstacles and often setbacks.”

At age 12, Libby was chosen to represent Victoria in hockey after less than a year in the sport. Two years later she was selected for the under 15s School Sport Victoria Netball Team, much to her delight. Success followed success, both in hockey and netball, but by age 15 Birch had to make the tough decision to drop one. She chose netball, and continued to represent her state in titles every year, including a memorable trip to New Zealand where she was U16 Captain for the School Sport Australian Team. “It was a moment I’ll never forget. The honour only made me more determined to want to keep striving for my dreams…”

Birch went on to captain the Victorian U17 State Netball Team to two gold medal victories and was then given the opportunity to become a part of Netball Australia’s National Underage Squad. But during the under 19s competition in Sydney it was revealed that she was not selected for the Australian Squad, which was a massive disappointment for the dedicated athlete. “I was doing Year 12 and was School Captain of Maribyrnong College at the time and I can remember coming home feeling lost, shattered and utterly exhausted…”
These moments of disappointment test the true determination and grit of any athlete, and Birch rose to the challenge and was chosen for
the 21 and under Victorian side. While she missed selection to the Australian Squad again in 2016, this allowed her to spread her wings

and explore football, which has proven to be another sport she excels at. She will begin her new career in AFL in February, while continuing to pursue Netball.

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The Sports We Play

School Sport Victoria organises interschool competitions in nineteen core sports, being

  • Australian Football
  • Badminton (Secondary only)
  • Baseball (Secondary only)
  • Basketball
  • Bowls (Secondary only)
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Diving (Secondary only)
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tee Ball (Primary only)
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Competitions are generally held for Primary Boys / Mixed, Primary Girls, Year 7 Boys, Year 7 Girls, Year 8 Boys, Year 8 Girls, Intermediate Boys (Years 9 and 10), Intermediate Girls (Years 9 and 10), Senior Boys (Years 11 and 12) and Senior Girls (Years 11 and 12). There can be slight variations in the age groups in Secondary competition due to the number of students participating.

SSV also recognises a number of other sports with competitions organised by the State Sporting Associations, including

  • Cycling
  • Gymnastics
  • Orienteering
  • Rowing
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Touch
  • Triathlon

In January 2014, SSV introduced its Sporting Tiers Policy. From this date, SSV will regularly review each sport’s classification with particular reference to their relevance in the school setting with regards to:

  • the development and changes in participation rates of a number of sports over time;
  • SSV's strengthened relationships with SSO’s; and
  • SSV’s limited capacity to offer school sports programs for all sports where it is expected they receive equivalent support, funding and are organized by SSV staff and teachers in schools.

SSV will reclassify sports within its program into a tiered sports classification system where sports will be defined into three (3) different levels of support within the SSV Program. A full description of the policy may be viewed on the SSV website at: Sporting Tiers Policy.

SSV also participates in School Sport Australia Annual Championships for elite level athletes.  A full list of sports can be found on this page of our website.

Download this general brochure as a PDF.

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Competition Boundaries

From 2011 schools will use DET regions and networks as the base structure for competition boundaries.  To view the current competition groupings, see:

To view the SSV sports regions, see: SSV Sports Region Map

To view current Region, Division and District Coordinator appointments see: SSV Coordinator List.

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Competition Pathways and Progressions

To view SSV's updated 2012 policy on competition pathways and progressions see: Competition Pathway and Progressions.

View or download the Interschool Sport Progression Pathways Flyer.

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Membership Types

The ordinary membership of SSV consists of each of the classes listed below.  Only Full and Associate member schools compete in interschool competitions organised by SSV. 

Students attending schools that are affiliated with SSV for the current year are eligible to trial and participate in SSV interstate representative teams.

Full Members

Qualifications: Any Government School

Associate Members

Qualifications: Any Non-Government Primary School or Non-Government Secondary School which:

(A) does not participate in a regular school sport competition for students in year levels 7 to 12 conducted by another secondary school sport organisation; and

(B) is approved for admission to a Division as an Associate Member in accordance with the criteria prescribed by the SSV Board.

Affiliate Members

Qualifications: Any Non-Government Secondary School that participates in a regular school sport competition for students in year levels 7 to 12 conducted by another secondary school sport organisation.

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SSV Board

President: David Mann (Park Ridge Primary School)
Vice President: Steve Rothwell (Chatham Primary School)
Chief Executive Officer: Jude Maguire
DET Representative: Tim Fitzgerald
Board Members:
Jan Arney (Apollo Parkways Primary School)
Sarah Burns (Mornington Secondary College)
Ernie Fleming (Bendigo South East Secondary College)
Jason McBean (Laurimar Primary School)
Tony Goodwin (Murtoa College)
Jannelle Graham (Berwick Secondary College)
Alan McLean (Independent)
Fiona Taylor (Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College)
Shane Wainwright (Drouin Secondary College)
Peter Wright (Koonung Secondary College)
Sally Wilson (Mackellar Primary School)

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SSV Life Members and Service Award Recipients

Please click here to view a list of SSV Life Members and Service Award Recipients.

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Created on: May 31, 2011

Last modified: January 16, 2017