Academy for Student Athlete Development

Payton Beckett is a figure skater and grade 11 student at A.B. Lucas Secondary School. She is also a member of the inaugural class of the Academy for Student Athlete Development (ASAD), an innovative program helping aspiring Thames Valley student athletes in grades 9-12 excel in athletics and academics while competing at provincial, national and international levels of competition.

For Payton, each day begins at the Western Fair, home of the ASAD campus, with intense daily strength and conditioning or sport specific training, followed by a Thames Valley supervised e-learning class. Payton’s training also includes nutrition seminars, sport psychology sessions, physical literacy development days and access to sports therapy. She then heads back to her home school, AB Lucas, in time for lunch with her classmates and an afternoon of classes, enabling her to spend her evenings at home with family and friends.

Created and launched by Abilities Centre in the Durham Region in 2016, and including parasport and Special Olympics athletes, ASAD is the world’s first sports academy model. Founded on the value of inclusion and designed to reduce financial barriers, ASAD provides more opportunities for student athletes to shine on sport’s biggest stages.

According to Payton, it is a model that helps her be the best athlete she can be, while also ensuring she has the time to study, be with friends and family, and live life to the fullest while inspiring others in the community to follow in her footsteps.


Learn more about our Specialty programs for students on our Guidance page.

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