A two year Diploma of Physical Education under the directorship of Dr Fritz Duras was available within the Faculty of Education from 1939. The first such course offered in Australia, Duras’s Carnegie lectureship was supplemented by the Myer Charitable and Educational Trust.
When in the early 1970s the University decided to phase out the diploma a concerted public campaign resulted in its upgrading to a degree course (Bachelor of Human Performance). This course did not flourish despite relocation in the department of Human Movement Studies in the Science Faculty from 1978.
The sporting facilities for the growing student body and the new course in Physical Education were grossly inadequate when former Olympic swimming champion and business man Sir Frank Beaurepaire formed the idea that the University needed training facilities commensurate with those he had seen in some colleges in the United States. His gift of £156,000 in 1954 made possible the construction of the extensive Beaurepaire Sports Centre, designed by Eggleston Macdonald and Secomb which opened in August 1956.
Money was also raised to renovate the cinder athletics track and employ the athletics coach Franz Stampfl at a time of great interest in sport in the lead up to the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956.
A second building which included squash courts was added to this sporting complex in 1968.