Written by Will McGrath, Elite Sport Business student in 2021.

AFL has always been a big passion for Hayden, rising through the junior level to being recognised at representative level with the Northern Knights. Hayden is now ploughing his trade as a forward for Macleod Football Club in the Northern Football Netball League.

Sport is a main priority for Hayden, so deciding to develop his game and education Carlton College of Sport was the ideal opportunity for him.

Hayden decided last minute to enrol at Carlton College of Sport to give him more opportunities.

“Sport is a main focus of mine, so the Carlton College of Sport provided me the opportunity to develop my football skills as well as furthering my education at an elite level,” Gill said.

The Carlton College of Sport provides a unique opportunity to the La Trobe students, Hayden saw the benefits and jumped on the opportunity.

“The delivery of the program was appealing to me, being able to focus on my football development as well as focusing on my academic studies has allowed a good balance between the two which I have been enjoying,” he said.

Even though only starting the course at the start of March, when asked about the first impressions, there was nothing but praise.

“The initial analysis and screenings gave me a good focus point on where to improve, as well as having an elite coaching staff at my disposal has allowed me to get the best out of myself.”

The program is designed for unique opportunities and experiences, Hayden is no exception.

“Having the access to an elite gym and programs has allowed me to develop my strength, as well as being able to train with bigger bodies has given the experience and insight on how I can take new skills into gamedays,” he said.

The standard of coaching that is provided at the Carlton College of Sport has also been a highlight for Hayden.

“The coaching staff have been a great help for me to improve my game. They have all been helping me to push my limits and teaching me new skills to keep innovating my game. The drills we have been shown are challenging me to learn new skillsets.”

Looking forward, Hayden hopes that the program will give him the knowledge to get into an industry that he has a passion in.

“I am hoping that the program will give me the qualifications and skills to help me become a personal trainer or something similar as well as further my football career.”

Throughout his training and development, there is one piece of advice that has stuck with Hayden through the years

“As a young player I was told to train as if you are playing; train with the game day intensity, resulting in being ready for whatever comes on gameday.”

Through Carlton College of Sport Hayden is experiencing a unique opportunity allowing him to gain the skills to develop his game on the field and the knowledge to enter the workforce.