The McDonald College has had a thriving Tennis stream for eight years.
Across the Junior and Senior schools, 30 students train each day on the courts at Sydney Olympic Park under the careful eye of Voyager Tennis Academy coaches. Sometimes they train twice in a day.
Voyager’s co-founder Luke Bourgeois adheres to the view that talented tennis players should not give up their education to pursue their sporting dreams.
Nor should they have to give up their sport to pursue their education.
“In our partnership with The McDonald College they can excel at both,” he says.
“It’s the 10,000 hours theory. You can have all the talent in the world but it won’t flourish without investing time on the court.”
Luke is careful about who he will admit into Voyager. The ultimate – but not the only – pathway for his students is the US College circuit.
He is the youngest of eight children and a graduate of St Aloysius College, he first picked up a racquet aged four and played his way up to being a national champion at the age of 17.
He was mentored by Australian champion Tony Roache, and as he began doing well at international tournaments, he received offers from US Colleges.
He was advised to hit the professional circuit and so he knocked-back offers from Harvard, among others.
His career on the circuit flourished and in his 20s he settled in Florida. From his base in the US he managed wins over some of the biggest names in tennis, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and the Bryan brothers.
He travelled as part of Roger Federer’s team for three years but at 30 he was ready to come home and over time, he has come to the conclusion he should have gone the College route after all.
“It gives you four more years of nurturing, not to mention an academic back-up,” he says.
This is the advice he gives his students and so far he has a 100 percent success rate of Voyager full time students securing a place in a US College if they want one.
“There are 18 so far, and counting” he says.