United on board with Targeted Sports Program

Representatives from Surfing Australia, the Brisbane Bullets, the Titans and Gold Coast United with Justin Stewart (l) and Josh Gollan (r) from Ballina Coast High School (photo Ace Photoshop)




The recent merger of Ballina’s two high schools, Southern Cross 7-12 and Ballina High School, has set the platform for the formation of the district’s first Targeted Sports Program (TSP) based out of Ballina Coast High School. With a new campus set to open in 2019, the launch of the program is a timely reminder of what the new ‘super’ school will bring to the region.

With the TSP set to play a major role in the local community by enhancing transition programs and fostering coach and athlete development, Gold Coast United has partnered with the school to deliver a high quality football program.


After a welcome to country performed by Bungjalung dancers, Deputy Principal Josh Gollan welcomed the assembled dignitaries and outlined the importance of the program.

“The Targeted Sports Program (TSP) will provide a unique and authentic opportunity for to engage in an innovate program that enhances the school culture and individual growth and development.

“The partnerships that we are fostering with the local and elite sporting organisation with allow our students to dream big and provide every opportunity for them to reach their potential, athletically and academically,” Gollan confirmed.



Initially the program’s focus will be on five key sports – Football, Rugby League, Surfing, Basketball and Netball – and with the program set to be in full swing in 2019, a launch at the School saw representatives from the Gold Coast Titans, Gold Coast United, Surfing Australia and the Brisbane Bullets in attendance to celebrate the program’s establishment.


For Gold Coast United’s Technical Director, Craig Midgley, one of the country’s leading Coach Educators, the chance to link with and support the program, the school and the region is fantastic opportunity to help grow the game.

“United’s playing ranks are packed with very talented players from the area. Some of our best players travel to the Gold Coast for training from across the Northern Rivers.

“One of our young players, Tate Baldwin, is from Ballina and he has just been selected into the Brisbane Roar Academy.”


“Something like the TSP allows more young aspiring players the chance to receive high quality coaching closer to home and develop their skills locally.”

“Our club is very excited about being involved and helping establish a first-class football program at Ballina Coast High. Not only have we attracted some awesome players to the Club, but we’ve also engaged some of the mostly highly accredited and well regarded coaches who’ll be involved with the School programs.”


In an exciting time for the School and for the region, future expected growth will allow the school and TSP to expand into other sports and focus on the development of females in sport.  The TSP will also be a major vehicle for indigenous students and their success, with research confirming that quality sporting pathways utilized as an education tool enhance retention at school, social outcomes, well being / mental health and future success in the workforce.


Gold Coast United are proud to support the program and look forward to a long, mutually rewarding relationship that grows football and all sports across the Northern Rivers.