On Tuesday, 12th December, the first round of applications for the 2018 SMGS ESA program will open.

Entering its third year, the ESA program will continue to work on providing the highest level of academic, pastoral and logistical support to its snowsports athletes who are at levels 2, 3 and 4 in the pre-elite category of the Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) Athlete Pathway Framework.

Early in 2017, the program received a coveted Innovative Schools Award from The Educator Magazine. The award acknowledged the strength of SMGS’ personalised learning approach and online learning management system, which allows ESA athletes to participate in full-time on-snow training programs at Perisher and Thredbo ski resorts, while attending a majority of normal timetabled classroom lessons during Term 3. This means that students can fulfil their athletic dreams without sacrificing their academic pathway.

SMGS was also awarded the 2017 Ski and Snowboard Australia School of the Year. The ESA program was a large part of the school’s application, showcasing our commitment to guiding snowsports athletes at the grass roots level, to helping student-athletes bridge the gap to state, national and world cup teams.

In 2018, the delivery of the program will remain the same; however, Mr Tim Bland will step out of the role, to take on the position of Dean of Students, Years 7-10, a new role at SMGS, which focuses largely on student wellbeing. Leading the ESA program in 2018 will be Mr Martin Philpott, who was recently appointed to the new position of Head of Student Programs and Development.  Mr Philpott has extensive expertise and experience in the delivery of residential snowsports programs and we are delighted to welcome him to the SMGS community.

Of the success of the ESA program over the last two years, Mr Bland said, “It has been a privilege to be involved in the foundation and growth of the ESA program over the past two years. It has been exciting to develop this tailored program that caters for our students and enables them to pursue their athletic aspirations without sacrificing their academic endeavours. In the program, the students gain a wealth of experience about who they are and what they can achieve.”

ESA 2017 Fun Facts

SMGS welcomed 38 students into the 2017 program.

During Term 3 2017, ESA student-athletes enjoyed an amazing average of 50 days on snow.

Our school community welcomed students from NSW, ACT, QLD and VIC, and the USA, with many staying on full-time at SMGS.

Many of our ESA students also took the opportunity to compete in races outside of the regular Interschools calendar. Some of these races included:

  • Thredbo Rail Jam

(photo credit: Mandy Lamont)

  • Australian National Championships (ANC)
  • National Children’s Series
  • National Junior Series

  • Futures Series
  • Thredbo Snow Series
  • ABOM Series
  • Playstation Slopestyle Championships
  • The Kangaroo Birkie
  • FIS Australia – New Zealand Cup.

SMGS coordinated programming for athletes across all winter snowsports disciplines:

  • Cross Country

SMGS Elite Snowsports Academy XC

  • Alpine
  • Snowboard Cross
  • Ski Cross
  • Slopestyle
  • Freestyle/Moguls

To find out more about the SMGS ESA program and how to apply for the 2018 season, please visit:


Applications Open: Tuesday, 12th December @ 4:00 pm

First round of applications close: Wednesday, 31st January @ 4:00 pm

Second round of applications: TBA