State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Victorian Government to fund the establishment of two regional academies of sport in the Goulburn Valley and northeast regions.
Ms Lovell said the areas were the only regions of Victoria which remained unsupported by a Regional Academy of Sport, meaning emerging athletes and coaches faced barriers to achieve elite success.
The introduction could benefit aspiring professional athletes in Cobram, giving them a chance to develop their craft in an elite environment without having to drive to Melbourne.
‘‘Athletes, coaches and administrators in the Goulburn Valley and the north-east are disadvantaged in comparison to others around Victoria because there is no academy structure to nurture local sportsmen and women,’’ Ms Lovell said.
She said with the two proposed academies based in Shepparton and Wangaratta, they would align with the existing regional sports assemblies, Shepparton’s Valley Sport and Sport North East in Wangaratta.
‘‘Being based in both Shepparton and Wangaratta, the proposed academies would eliminate the current disadvantage faced by athletes . . . and provide development pathways for local athletes, coaches and sports administrators,’’ Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell has asked for $1.22 million delivered across four years to establish two regional academies.