Sport Beyond the Classroom

St Rita’s College has built a respected reputation in many sports. Each year, St Rita’s students achieve outstanding results while conducting themselves with dedication and passion.

The College strongly believes that a well-rounded sporting program contributes significantly to student health, wellbeing and personal development.

From fitness training before school, to State and national-level competitions, the College sport program offers something for every student.

Regardless of experience or performance level, students have the opportunity to participate, to challenge themselves physically and to achieve their personal bests. The College ensures that no matter where sporting interests lie, student enthusiasm, passion and commitment will be supported. 

Objectives for sport are to ensure that all students:

  • feel they belong
  • are improving in their fitness, skills and knowledge about themselves and the sports they play
  • are challenged, regardless of skill level and ambition
  • have fun in physical activity
  • learn and demonstrate sportsmanship, teamwork and respect for rivals at the highest standard possible
  • are given the opportunity to participate in a school team
  • enjoy sport as a positive contribution to their social and academic development
  • are supported and assisted, should they wish to achieve in competitive sports

Sporting facilities on campus include the Acqua Rosa Centre with its 25m heated pool; three hard courts providing for tennis, basketball, netball and volleyball; a covered court in the Sr Assumpta O’Flynn Pavillion for all-weather multi-purpose uses; and the Eirene Centre, a multi-purpose hall and gymnasium.

Sports and Programs Offered
AFL
Cross Country
Cricket
Netball
Swimming
Tennis
Touch Football
Track and Field
Volleyball
Water Polo

AFL

Primary Years

AFL is played in Term 3 as an optional sporting program for Primary Years students to be involved with. This development program assists students to learn the basic skills of AFL which supports their transfer to competitive AFL in the Secondary Year levels.

Secondary Years

AFL is offered within the Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA) Term-based competition:

  • Senior (Years 10-12): Term 1
  • Junior (Years 7-9): Term 4

An Open Team is selected in Term 1 and these students compete in the annual All Queensland Schools AFL Competition, which is played in Term 2. 

Cross Country

The St Rita’s Cross Country program is about developing fitness and enhancing individual confidence and personal ethics that, when combined, form a strong sense of team spirit encouraging the student to aim for their best within their limits.

This philosophy has led to St Rita’s in recent years placing second in the CaSSSA Cup for a consecutive six years and championing the competition in 2021.

The 12 and 13 years age groups compete over 3km, while the 14, 15,16, and 17 years age groups compete over 4km.

Head Coach

St Rita’s Head of Cross Country is Olympian and World Champion, Mr Michael Hillardt. Some of Mr Hillardt’s achievements include:

  • Olympian 1500m 1984/88
  • World Indoor Champion 1500m 1985, World Indoors 1987
  • World Championships 1983/87
  • World Cup 1981/85
  • Commonwealth Games 1982/86
  • Ten times Australian 800m and 1500m Champion
  • Australian 1000m, 1500m and mile record holder
  • Level 4 Middle distance coach - Athletics Australia

Assistant Coaches

Our coaching staff are all past distance runners, mostly drawn from past student talent within the College. Several coaches are past Australian representative team members at 800m and 1500m and triathlon.

Pre-season Cross Country and Season Training Times

Cross Country commences in the third week of Term 1. Official training and competitions are run from Term 2 through to late May and concluding with CaSSSA Cup.

Training takes place at the College on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:15am-7:45am. 

Cross Country Competition Opportunities

Queensland Running events are held on Saturday afternoons at various locations (mostly Brisbane Northside) from mid-March each year.

In the lead up to CaSSSA Cup, interschool competitions are held during Term 2 giving our students the opportunity to compete against other schools. These meets are used as selection for the final St Rita’s College CaSSSA Cup Team. 

Met North competitions are available if students are looking to further their aspirations in Cross Country. 

Primary Years

Primary Years students train with the Secondary Year students, with their training program balanced to suit their age group. They are also eligible to progress to City District and Met North representation.

Cricket

Primary Years

Cricket is played in Term 4 as an optional sporting program for Primary Years students. Our Primary Years Cricket program is a development program focused on assisting students to learn the basic skills to support their transfer to competitive Cricket in the Secondary Year levels.

Secondary Years

Indoor Cricket is played within the Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA) Term-based competition:

  • Junior (Years 8-9): Term 1
  • Senior (Years 10-12): Term 1

St Rita’s enters an Open team (Years 7–12) in the Queensland Cricket T20 competition. This takes place over Terms 2 and 3.

Netball

The Netball program at St Rita’s College offers both primary and secondary students the opportunity to grow and develop skills on and off the netball court, helping them become well rounded athletes and members of the community. The program endeavours to provide students with an empowering, exciting, educational and fulfilling environment, inclusive of beginner players to the elite netballer.

Our Netball program prides itself on the 3 ‘Es’. Empowerment, Excellence and Enjoyment and offers participation in SRC Club Netball within the Downey Park Netball Association, as well as a year round excellence program offered to all Vicki Wilson Cup Squad senior players. 

Vicki Wilson Cup, QC Cup, Primary Schools Cup, Gretel Tippett Cup and practice matches are offered to relevant students throughout the year. SRC Club Netball is run from March -August. Trials for Club Netball are held in Term 4 and the trials for the Vicki Wilson Squad are held in Term 1.

Head Coaches

St Rita’s College Head of Netball is elite athlete and Queensland Firebirds player Ms Lara Dunkley. 

Some of Ms Dunkley’s achievements within Netball Include:

  • Queensland Firebirds Player, 2020-present

St Rita’s also engages to services of Mrs Gretel Bueta is a coach within the program, coaching the open club team and providing specialist sessions to all teams. 

Some of Mrs Bueta’s achievements include:

  • Queensland Firebirds Player, 2015 – present
  • Australia Diamonds Player, 2015-present
  • Liz Ellis Player of the Year 2019

Ms Dunkley and Mrs Bueta greatly enjoy working with the emerging netballers of the future at St Rita’s College, working to create an environment that brings out the best of netball participants. Students engage with a variety of talented and experienced coaches to enhance their skills and learnings on and off the court, in a variety of specialist areas. 

Current Netball Coaches include:

  • Mrs Trish Brennan – Head Coach Vicki Wilson Squad
  • Ms Macy Gardner – Queensland Firebirds Squad Member
  • Ms Georgia Mulder – North Brisbane Cougars Ruby Player
  • Ms Cate Stone – Netball Coach of over five years

Swimming

The St Rita’s College Swimming program offers professional coaching and competition opportunities for juniors through to high performance swimmers. The dedicated team at St Rita’s believes in achieving personal results through determination and a positive work ethic.

SRC Swimming participates in several competitions throughout each year. One of the primary focuses for students is CaSSSA Swimming in March, competing against other member schools. For all our swimmers, other opportunities include Brisbane, Queensland and Australian championships, and providing pathways to represent Queensland or Australia at a variety of domestic and international competitions, including at Olympic and Commonwealth level.

The goal of the program is to allow every swimmer to compete at the highest level. Swimmers will be encouraged and supported to achieve their goals.

Coaches

Head Coach

Mr Michael Bromley – Advanced Coach Qualification. Mr Bromley holds 20 years of coaching experience, coaching swimmers from Junior to International level. He is a Development and Age Group coach of multiple Australian representatives including a Tokyo Olympic Gold Medalist and World Record holder. He has coached multiple Australian Age champions and Junior Australian team representatives.

Assistant Coach

Mr Liam Fisher - Development Coach Qualification. Mr Fishers bring five years of coaching experience, working with development and national level swimmers. He has coached multiple Australian Schools champion swimmers and is Coach of the 2021 Australian Age Medalist.

Participation

Swimming is conducted year round in the College’s 25m x 25m heated pool - the Acqua Rosa Centre and is available to both primary and secondary students.

Trials for squad swimming and stroke correction sessions are held on a continuing basis. 

Trials for CaSSSA Swimming occur during Term 1, generally on Friday afternoons, in the form of Lead up time trials. These trials, combined with the results of the College Age Swimming championships and Club swimming meets, form the base from which the St Rita’s swimming team is selected.

Competitions

Primary Years

Opportunities exist for Primary Years students to participate in the following:

  • Met-North swimming – leads to Queensland School Sport and Australian Schools/Pacific School Games
  • Club-based competitions – Brisbane Swimming and Queensland Swimming Meets
  • Dual meets with other Year 5/6 schools in Term 1, e.g. All Hallows’ School, Clayfield College, St Margaret’s

Secondary Years

  • CaSSSA – Term 1. CaSSSA events selection is based on times from lead up competitions and available positions
  • Met-North swimming – leads to Queensland School Sport and Australian Schools/Pacific School Games
  • Club-based competitions – Brisbane Swimming, Queensland Swimming, National and International  Meets based on qualifying time and selection criteria 


Tennis

Tennis at St Rita’s College enjoys immense success. The program caters for girls of all abilities, whether they are experienced or have never played before.

The Tennis Program commences in Term 1 with the CaSSSA Tennis competition. Trials for the CaSSSA teams are held in Term 4 of the preceding year. 

St Rita’s participates in the Knowles Cup Competition. Knowles Cup is a girls secondary schools tennis competition where the best teams from eight schools across Brisbane and Toowoomba come together to battle it out for the honour of being the Knowles Cup Champion. St Rita’s has a very proud history in Knowles Cup, having won 10 out of the 24 times the competition has taken place, and created history in 2021 by winning the tournament and all age categories – a feat never before accomplished.

Every year the College holds the College Championship in Term 3 playing singles and doubles competitions for Junior (Years 7-8), Intermediate (Years 9-10) and Senior (Years 11-12).

Coach

Mr John James is the College’s Head Coach Tennis and holds an exceptional track record as a player and coach. Some of John’s achievements include:

  • Director of Lifetime Tennis Bracken Ridge
  • #1 Junior and Open Singles and Doubles Player
  • Six-time Queensland Open Champion
  • Tennis Australia Club Professional Coach
  • 20 years coaching experience
  • Premiership winning coach at St Rita’s College, St Joseph’s Nudgee College and The Southport School.

Season

  • CaSSSA Tennis: Term 1 Years 5-12
  •  Additional training for selected students: Terms 2-3
  • Knowles Cup Term 4: Years 5-12


Touch Football

SRC Club Touch Football is played over two seasons throughout the year. Season 1 runs over Terms 1-2 and Season 2 over Terms 3-4. The Open Team competes in the Brisbane Metro Touch Association (BMTA) Competition, while all other teams compete in the Brothers Touch Competition

Both seasons are open to secondary students. Season 2 is open to Primary Years students.

The Open team will go on to compete in the annual All Queensland Schools Touch competition, played during Term 4.

Touch Football for the College is also played within the Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA) Term-based competition:

  • Junior (Years 7-8):                    Term 2
  • Intermediate (Years 9-10):        Term 3
  • Open/ Senior (Years 8-12):        Term 3

Track and Field

Track and Field training occurs throughout Terms 2 and 3, with season meets held in Term 3. The season culminates in August with the CaSSSA Championships in August. Students also have the opportunity to compete in the Met North Regional program.

St Rita’s College Head of Track & Field is Mr Peter Kropp. 

Mr Kropp’s experience and qualifications include:

T&F Level 4 ATFCA

Level 4 Senior IAAF Coach in Sprints/Hurdles/Relays/Jumps

Current Track & Field Coaches include:

Ms Kimbra Winburn: Assistant Head Coach – Highly credentialed Coach

Mr David Murray:  Sprint Coach – Ex Athlete who competed at National level

Miss Ellen Kropp: Sprint Coach – Current State 100m Finalist Athlete

Mr Jim Stephenson: Sprint Coach - Coach of National and International athletes

Mr Patrick Kropp: Jumps Coach – Professional Long Jump Athlete

Miss Madi Feddema: Jumps Coach - State level High Jumper

Mrs Lyndall Warry: Throws Coach – Coach of numerous QLD & AUS Champions

Mr Mark Ashcroft: Throws Coach – experienced throws coach

Miss Alexandra Roberts: Throws Coach - Currently 4th ranked Australian women in Javelin; recently returned from scholarship in USA

Volleyball

Volleyball is offered within the Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA) Term-based competition:

  • Junior (Years 7-8): Term 2
  • Intermediate (Years 9-10): Term 1
  • Senior (Years 11–12): Term 1 

St Rita’s enters the Queensland Schools Cup for Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels. These competitions take place:

  • Junior (Years 7-8): Term 4
  • Intermediate (Years 9-10): Term 2
  • Senior (Years 11–12): Term 4

Water Polo

St Rita’s College Water Polo has seen immense growth and success in the last five years. All students, primary and secondary, are able to participate in Water Polo. The Water Polo program works to support athlete growth and development, and encourages participation across all skill levels.

Our program supports those that want to pursue the sport just for fun and fitness, through to those who aspire to representative levels including Regional, State and National level. In 2021, the College had four students selected in Youth Australian Teams, one student selected in a Senior National League Squad, 18 girls selected in the Queensland Squads, and two girls selected in the Queensland School Merit Team.

Coaches

Head Coach of Water Polo, Ms Madison Wall, has played Water Polo at a Regional and State level and was a member of a Junior Elite Development Program throughout her high school years. Ms Wall has coached Water Polo for over 10 years and is also a State Team Coach.

Ms Wall has experience in both playing and refereeing, which allows for a well-rounded approach to her coaching of the girls. She is an accredited Australian Strength and Conditioning Coach (Level 1) and a qualified Nutritionist (Bachelor of Nutrition Science), which contribute to her ability to lead a holistic, well-rounded program for the SRC Water Polo players.

All team coaches in the SRC Water Polo program are accredited with Water Polo Australia, with many holding considerable experience among those who have represented Queensland and Australia, and those who are currently under the Queensland Academy of Sport program. A collaborative approach among the coaches ensures their knowledge and skill base are shared across all teams, allowing SRC girls access to the best possible coaching.

Season

Water Polo’s main season is in Summer with the Brisbane competition for Years 5-12 running from Term 4 through to the following year’s Term 1. A Winter competition runs throughout Term 3 for all players. State Titles and Youth National Titles are held during, or at the end of, the Summer Season. 

Trials

Trials for the Summer season are held in August. After selection, teams begin training ready for the start of games in Term 4.

The Winter season doesn’t run trials. Girls are welcome to come along, train and play after registering their interest with the Head Coach.

Competitions

St Rita’s competes in the Brisbane Water Polo competition which runs on Saturdays during Summer and throughout the week during Winter. This competition is a mixture of schools and clubs, with our athletes playing against other Secondary schools and clubs from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Selections for these teams are through our School trials.

Teams are also entered into the annual State and National Water Polo competitions. These fixtures act as selections for State and National Talent Squads and Selection is performance-based.

Our Water Polo players also participate in Met North, where girls can trial to represent their school and region. Selection for individuals to attend these trials is based on each players’ performance throughout the season. 

Specialist Programs
Strength and Conditioning Program
Representative School Pathway
Sporting Association Partnerships

Strength and Conditioning Program


The St Rita’s College Strength and Conditioning Program is a dedicated resource to support and complement cocurricular sport at St Rita’s.

Our Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Program is an athletic development program integrated into the College’s sports program for students across Years 5-12. The program guides both non-sport specific and sport specific strength, conditioning and injury-prevention programs to enhance, support and improve participation in sport.

Strength and Conditioning complements training schedules by offering external sessions that target aspects such as strength, power, speed, agility and aerobic fitness. The program offers best practice coaching that aims to enhance the athletic development of all students.

Head Coach

The St Rita’s Head Coach of Athletic Development, Ms Sophie Dodd, has worked in Strength and Conditioning since 2016 and has been coaching sports such as Netball and Touch Football.

Ms Dodd is a Level 2 accredited Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Coach and her experience and practice are underpinned by a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Hons). She is passionate about promoting positive sporting experiences for all students, no matter their age or the level of competition they are involved in.

Accreditations include:

  • Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Coach (Level 2)
  • Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Hons) (2018)
  • Level 1 Sports Trainer

Representative School Pathway

Overview

Representative School Sport is provided to all students willing to trial for their chosen Sport to compete at the highest level. Here at St Rita’s College we pride ourselves in providing opportunities for the student to perform at the highest level and encourage all students to compete for their chosen sport. More information surrounding each Sport will be sent to Students interested in nominating for trials.

Process

We are affiliated with City District for 10 – 12 years and North Independent for 13 – 19 years. The trialing process will vary between sports. These processes will consider a combination of paper nominations, trialing for districts and/or trialing straight for regional. As demonstrated in the diagram below the process is as follows: Trial for districts to either be selected in 10 – 12 years City District or 13 – 19 years North Independent Team. This leads to trialing for Regional to be selected in the Met North Team to compete against other Regional Teams competing at State Championships. A Queensland team will be selected to compete at Nationals against other States with an Australian Team being selected rounding out the process.

 

 Nomination

The calendar and nomination process will be made available to all students upon the commencement of 2022.

Sporting Association Partnerships

St Rita’s is a member or has partnerships with several sporting associations, including:

Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA)

Brisbane Water Polo

Queensland Water Polo

Polo Bears Water Polo Club

Knowles Cup Tennis

Brothers Touch

Brisbane Metro Touch Association (BMTA)

Downey Park Netball Association

North District Association

Metropolitan North Regional Association

Acqua Rosa Clayfield Swimming Club