Meeting hopes to advance push for sports academy
A MEETING with state sports officials next month hopes to gain funding to establish two regional academies of sport, one in the North East at Wangaratta.
The North East and Goulburn Valley areas remain the only regions of Victoria that remain financially and structurally unsupported by a Regional Academy of Sport, making it it harder for local emerging athletes and coaches to achieve elite success.
Ongoing efforts by regional sports assemblies - Wangarattabased Sport North East and Shepparton’s Valley Sports - to gain complementing academies were raised in state parliament last week.
Liberal MP Wendy Lovell (MLC, Northern Victoria) laboured the issue and called on the State Government to commit to $1.22 million over four years to establish both academies.
“Being based in both Shepparton and Wangaratta, the proposed academies will eliminate the current disadvantage faced by athletes in both the Goulburn Valley and North East and will provide development pathways from grassroots to elite sport for local athletes, coaches and sports administrators,” Ms Lovell said.
Sport North East regional sports assembly manager, Kerry Strauch said that a meeting has now been arranged for early June with the office of Sports Minister John Eren.
“We’re hopeful we can make some progress,” she said.
“All 12 local government areas (councils) in the Hume region are supportive of our bid.”
Ms Strauch said the academies would also assist the development of sports administrators, coaches and officials.
“We’re looking at helping develop a much larger talent pool of athletes,” she said.
The academies, which have the support of former shadow sports minister Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley), are likely to offer support in the areas of training, financial grants, and other measures.
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