Sports in spotlight
The 2016 City of Karratha Community Sports Awards on Friday acknowledged the dedication of players, coaches, officials and volunteers and attracted guest speaker Australian basketball legend Michele Timms. Nickol Bay Hockey Association was sporting group of the year.
The first Pilbara program for developing the talents of local athletes has been formed this month, launching with a workshop designed to inspire them to reach for success.
The Department of Sport and Recreation-run Pilbara Sports Academy held its first regional workshop at the Karratha Leisureplex on Saturday, November 12.
It was attended by coaches, parents and 23 young athletes from eight different sports in Karratha, Port Hedland and Pannawonica who had been identified as among the region’s best in their chosen sports.
Department of Sport and Recreation Pilbara regional manager Brendan Cullinan said a Pilbara sports talent development program had been needed for some time, to develop local athletes’ skills in their hometowns as much as possible before requiring them to make the move to Perth.
“It’s really identifying that within the region there is a lot of talent and ... there are a range of barriers that regional-based athletes have to overcome,” he said. “This is just one way of trying to provide that local support to help aspiring athletes achieve their goals.”
The PSA is being funded by Royalties for Regions and will operate in close conjunction with State sporting associations as part of the WA-wide sports talent development network.
Speaking at the workshop were sports psychologist Brian Miller and sports physician Dr Roslyn Carbon, both of whom have worked with Olympic teams and for the Australian and British Institutes of Sport, as well as internationally ranked Karratha taekwondo athlete Tahlia Briggs, nutritionist April Butt and physiotherapist Brendan Aitkins.
Mr Cullinan said the workshop speakers had been chosen to provide an overall framework for young athletes to think seriously about their long-term aspirations in sport.
Dr Carbon said it was good for young, regional West Australians to hear from high-profile sportspeople so they could see success was “actually achievable” with commitment and “not some nebulous thing that’s never going to happen to them”.
“If we can give them a few pointers, so that they don’t make obvious mistakes. . . and they give themselves every chance, then the world’s their oyster,” she said.
“They’ve got every chance, as much as someone who lives in the city.”
Dr Roslyn Carbon, Brian Miller, Tahlia Briggs and Brendan Cullinan.