John Paul College’s elite athletes take to the barre

John Paul College’s elite athletes take to the barre

They run, swim, jump and throw, and now John Paul College’s (JPC) elite athletes are taking to the barre as part of a new unique training program with Queensland Ballet.

The six-week program called FleX saw up to 22 of JPC’s high performance athletes between the ages of 13-17 take part in hybrid ballet classes.

Queensland Ballet Education Teaching Artists led the students through a combination of foundational ballet steps and strength building fitness exercises, both challenging and inspiring the students, who for many, was their first encounter with ballet.

The first of its kind, the ballet-focused program was created to complement and enhance the sporting disciplines of the participants, including cricket, rugby, cheer and swimming.

Queensland Ballet and JPC conducted basic pre and post physical testing of the participants, as well as weekly surveys. Performing and memorising a ballet routine was another test indicator. The results showed the positive impacts of ballet training, as well as how enjoyable participants found the unique method of training.

JPC High Performance Co-ordinator, Mr Joshua Hall, said participant’s calf and hip strength improved by over 30 per cent across the group, as well as hamstring flexibility and significant improvement in balance holds.

“Student’s lower limb power also saw a significant increase with 83 per cent of participants bettering their vertical jump score, with the group average increased by 8cm,” said Mr Hall.

For Queensland Ballet and JPC, the satisfaction and enjoyment rate from the student’s surveys was the key result, with all participants interested in continuing the program.

Overall the results show all students achieved higher scores in the testing protocol after completing the six week program. We are thrilled to see the improvements in our athletes over such a short period of time. It is a testament to the collaboration of our students and the QB professionals working well together,” Mr Hall added.

Queensland Ballet’s Head of Strategic Engagement, Genevieve Dunn is thrilled with the outcomes of the ballet program.

“All the participants were so committed to the weekly ballet classes, stepping outside their sporting comfort zones and developing a new found understanding and appreciation of the athleticism required of ballet dancers,” said Ms Dunn.

The results are really encouraging for the continuation and further expansion of the program with JPC,” said Ms Dunn.