Lo­cal push for sport academy

Alpine Observer - - People Around Town -

MOVES are afoot to try to es­tab­lish a Re­gional Sports Academy net­work to sup­port and nur­ture some of the North East and Goul­burn Val­ley’s most tal­ented young sports­men and women.

Re­gional Sports As­sem­blies Sport North East ( north­ern Hume re­gion) and Val­ley Sports (cen­tral and south­ern Hume re­gion) met with Wan­garatta state MP and Shadow Min­is­ter for Sport, Tim Mc­Curdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley) last week to put the need for an academy in the Hume re­gion on the agenda for the next Vic­to­rian state elec­tion.

The Hume re­gion re­mains the only one in the state that doesn’t have a sports academy that sup­ports emerg­ing high per­for­mance ath­letes in re­gional ar­eas to reach their po­ten­tial and rep­re­sent their sport on a state, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional stage.

Wan­garatta-based Sport North East spokesper­son Felic­ity Wil­liams - chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of The Cen­tre for Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion - said the ab­sence of an academy in the Hume re­gion means that many tal­ented ath­letes who live lo­cally are se­verely dis­ad­van­taged in their goals to achieve elite suc­cess as they ei­ther have to travel large dis­tances or re­lo­cate to ac­cess spe­cialised coach­ing, train­ing and high per­for­mance sports pro­grams.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of academy struc­tures in the Hume re­gion will ad­dress this dis­ad­van­tage by pro­vid­ing as­pir­ing ath­letes with lo­cal ac­cess to high per­for­mance ser­vices, de­vel­op­ment path­ways, qual­i­fied coaches and sup­port ser­vices,” she said.

“It will also pro­vide de­vel­op­ment opportunities for lo­cal coaches, of­fi­cials and ad­min­is­tra­tors, re­sult­ing in sec­tor de­vel­op­ment across the re­gion.

“The academy will ben­e­fit ath­letes through pro­vi­sion of train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion, strength and con­di­tion­ing, per­for­mance test­ing and eval­u­a­tion and ath­lete ed­u­ca­tion.

“It will sup­port re­gional coaches, of­fi­cials and ad­min­is­tra­tors to be ac­tive at the elite level through net­work­ing and men­tor­ing, and elite coach ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment in a range of ar­eas in­clud­ing sports sci­ence sup­port, nu­tri­tion, in­jury and re­cov­ery prac­tices, train­ing load man­age­ment and ath­lete mon­i­tor­ing.”

Ms Wil­liams said the academy will link with ex­ist­ing and pro­posed elite sport ini­tia­tives of State Sport­ing As­so­ci­a­tions and the Vic­to­rian In­sti­tute of Sport to de­velop path­ways for tal­ented ath­letes from this re­gion, cen­tred around the main ci­ties of Wan­garatta, Wodonga and Shep­par­ton.

Mr Mc­Curdy told North East Me­dia that he was keen to ac­tively work with lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the issue.

“We still need to gather quite a bit more de­tail, but I have be­come acutely aware of the dis­ad­van­tage our young ath­letes and their fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­ence through lack of lo­cal elite ath­lete sup­port,” he said.

“For some fam­i­lies, the com­mit­ment to travel to Mel­bourne sev­eral times a week and/or re­lo­cate is just too big a sac­ri­fice and many of our young peo­ple with huge po­ten­tial have to put their sport­ing dreams aside.”

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