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Football Queensland program

Cairns Academy of Sport

The Cairns Academy of Sport football program is a post-secondary school athlete development pathway that promotes excellence by equipping young regional footballers with the right tools to pursue success on and off the field. TAFE Queensland facilitates the Academy program in partnership with Football Queensland.

Professional habits and skills are developed through a holistic, performance-based sporting program developed specifically for student athletes. The educational and physical training environment is designed to advance physical and mental threshold, leading to improved performance and output.

Additional to receiving the sporting components of the Academy, student athletes will undertake a vocational or tertiary pathway suited to their career aspirations outside of the sporting arena.


Athlete Development Program

Year 1: Athlete Development Program

Year 2: Advanced Athlete Development Program

All first-year student athletes will undertake the Athlete Development Program, alongside classmates from a variety of different sporting backgrounds. Second-year student athletes will progress into the Advanced Athlete Development Program. The program is an athlete-specific curriculum delivered by industry professionals and covers core elements of peak sporting performance including nutrition, sports psychology and sports science. Student athletes will also develop essential life skills during the program as well as build their sporting IQ and employability by gaining coaching and officiating certificates. Throughout the program, student athletes will hear from guest speakers and engage with professional athletes and coaches.

The physical components of the Academy include specialised football training sessions and a tailored strength and conditioning program aligned to each athlete’s goals and sporting calendar. The football components of this program are specifically designed and delivered by Football Queensland and aim to promote success in a higher-level football system.

Delivery and outcomes

For an immersive experience designed to unlock full potential, the mainstream Academy delivery is recommended. Athletes already at university or undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship will have access to the flexi delivery option.

Mainstream delivery:

Year 1
  • Athlete Development Program
  • Industry qualification of choice


Year 2
  • Advanced Athlete Development Program
  • Industry qualification of choice


Flexi delivery:
  • Athlete Development Program
  • Must be enrolled in university or undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship

Future focused

Being a student athlete requires attention to life outside of sport. It is the Academy’s philosophy and practice that individuals must develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to seek a rewarding career in an industry area of choice, supported by a vocational or tertiary pathway suited to their future aspirations.

TAFE Queensland offers student athletes a huge range of programs in multiple study areas to accommodate individual needs. Many student athletes take advantage of various funding options available to eligible, young Queenslanders to study at TAFE Queensland while undertaking the Academy program. Academy staff work with each student athlete to create a tailored study plan.

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