Eaton Community College introduces CrossFit as a WACE subject

CrossFit champions: Year 10 students Cooper Metcalf and Matthew Thomson with Eaton Community College CrossFit coordinator Craig Aldridge. Photo: Pip Waller.
CrossFit champions: Year 10 students Cooper Metcalf and Matthew Thomson with Eaton Community College CrossFit coordinator Craig Aldridge. Photo: Pip Waller.

A SOUTH WEST high school will be the first in the state to offer CrossFit as a subject contributing to year 11 and year 12 students' Western Australian Certificate of Education.

Starting in 2022, year 10 students from Eaton Community College already enrolled in CrossFit, a circuit based form of exercise with "constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements", will be able to continue with the course towards graduating high school.

After seeing a need for students to take part in something other than "generic team sports", CrossFit was introduced to Eaton Community College in early 2019 by teacher, Craig Aldridge.

Alridge overseeing Metcalf during his lift.

Alridge overseeing Metcalf during his lift.

With just two classes originally offered, CrossFit is now run in six classes from years seven to 12.

Aldridge said the school had seen a "disengagement" in students from mainstream physical education.

"When students are forced to take part in sports they're not interested in, they might not feel comfortable and have a high level of anxiety," Aldridge said.

Eaton Community College CrossFit coordinator Craig Aldridge and HPE Teacher Nick Carter. Photo is supplied.

Eaton Community College CrossFit coordinator Craig Aldridge and HPE Teacher Nick Carter. Photo is supplied.

"CrossFit has both psychological and physical benefits to students, and when it's introduced to schools, and the organisation provides resources to schools for free."

In term two of this year, Aldridge and HPE teacher Nick Carter, selected 65 students to undergo evaluations to see what improvements they made during the course.

Aldridge said 83 per cent of students had improved self esteem and 100% had improved confidence and mood.

Students trying out the CrossFit circuit. Photo is supplied.

Students trying out the CrossFit circuit. Photo is supplied.

Once the college received positive feedback from both students and parents on CrossFit, next steps were taken to offer the subject to year 11 and 12 students, who choose subjects that contribute to their Western Australian Certificate of Education.

Year 10 student Matthew Thomson began CrossFit in 2020 and said the more he did it, the more he loved it.

"It's just better than being in a classroom, you bond with other boys and learn new things," Thomson said.

"It really helps me with sport and now it's great I can keep doing it next year towards my WACE."