Acad­e­mies needed

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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