National Library of Australia

Teachers notes: Shane Gould’s diary

Physical Activity and the Community

A student:

  • evaluates beliefs about fitness and uses a range of fitness measurement techniques to develop own fitness programme.
  • looks at the work of sporting organisations and examines the factors that influence the community to support and promote recreation, sporting and leisure activities and facilities.

People and Food

A student:

  • looks at and uses ways to improve personal diet when considering important nutritional needs for growth and activity.

Human Relations

A student:

  • develops skills and practises ways to manage changing relationships.
  • examines how the identity and status of a person is influenced by their changing responsibilities and how their achievements are recognised by others.

Diaries provide a day-to-day record of events places and people. Shane Gould’s diary reflects the interests and concerns of a 15-year-old girl, away from home, thrust into the international spotlight with none of the preparation athletes today are given.


  • What would be the particular purposes of keeping a diary for an elite sports person?
  • Would they let other people look at it?
  • What interesting clues about the past does it contain (that may not appear in a published document)?
  • What impact could the demanding training requirements of elite sports have on your social and private life?
  • How are elite athletes depicted in magazines and newspapers?
  • How could being in the glare of the media spotlight affect you at the age of 15? How might it affect your life, sense of identity and the way others see you after your sporting career?
  • What is the importance of media training for elite athletes today?


  • Shane Gould was born the day after the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. Those Olympics were highly charged politically. There was blood in the pool. Why, what was happening at the time?


  • Everyday run up a flight of stairs or run on the spot for a 10 minute period. Record your heart rate in a diary for a week. Does your recovery time improve between the beginning of the week and the end of the week?