Young athletes from across the state will undergo an intensive education program covering everything from the dangers of drugs in sport to nutrition and financial literacy, thanks to a new ClubsNSW-funded scheme to be administered by the Regional Academies of Sport (RASi).
ClubsNSW has committed $200,000 a year for the next three years towards the program, which will provide a best practice health and wellbeing program to 2000 young people across the state.
ClubsNSW Chairman Peter Newell said the partnership with RASi reinforced the club industry’s long-standing commitment to local sport.
“The relationship with RASi is a natural fit for the club industry, given the club industry’s long-standing commitment to local sport and development of junior athletes,” Mr Newell said.
“NSW clubs contribute $65 million to junior sport each and every year, through ClubGRANTS funding, for things like uniforms and equipment, as well as the provision of sporting infrastructure collectively worth billions of dollars.
“Clubs help get junior athletes onto the playing field and give them the tools they need to play the sport they love.
“Now, through our partnership program with the Regional Academies of Sport, we will be able to provide guidance on off-field issues as well which, all too often, de-rail promising sporting careers,” Mr Newell said.
The new Athlete Education Program curriculum will cover a range of issues including:
- Drugs in sport
- Drugs in the community
- Financial Fitness
- Media Training/ Social Media
- Public speaking
- Sports Medicine
- Sports Psychology
- Fitness Testing
- Integrity in sport
- Mental health first aid
- Youth Leadership
The program will be delivered both face to face (in regional clubs) and backed up by the development of an online hub.
The program has been announced on the eve of the 13th annual Academy Games – a three-day tournament showcasing the wonderful talent of Academy Athletes from across the state. In signing the new deal with the Regional Academy of Sport, ClubsNSW also reaffirmed its commitment to the hugely successful Academy Games for a further three years, bringing the total investment close to $250,000 annually.
There are 11 Regional Academies of Sport in NSW, the first of which emerged in Wollongong more than 25 years ago.
They are designed to act as a conduit between grassroots sports participation and the pre-elite levels of sport representation, providing participants with an insight into the skills, knowledge and personal attributes they will need to progress to the elite levels of their chosen sport.
ClubsNSW has been a major sponsor of the Academy Games since 2008.
RASi Chairman and CEO of the Hunter Academy of Sport Brett O’Farrell praised the club industry for its unwavering commitment to junior sport.
“On behalf of RASi and the member Regional Academies of Sport the announcement of continued and increased support for the annual Academy Games by ClubsNSW confirms their support for junior sport development in NSW.
What cements it more is this landmark decision to back a new consistent statewide personal development program. RASi is excited to be working with ClubsNSW to develop cutting edge resources in relation to athlete education.”
The recently held ClubsNSW Academy Games hosted by the Central Coast Academy of Sport again showcased the state’s best athletes across nine sports: Basketball, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Softball, Tenpin Bowling, Triathlon and Surfing. Over 900 athletes contests the sports across multiple venues on the Central Coast. The Central Coast completes their three-year hosting responsibility and the Games will move to the Hunter in 2018 till 2020.
The CCAS Managing Director Ian Robilliard said of the ClubsNSW Academy Games: “This past weekend was very special and the level of competition was outstanding. My thanks to all eleven academies that took part and to the 900 athletes who, by all accounts had a fantastic time on the Central Coast. I’ve no doubt the games will continue to grow as they head to the Hunter region next year. The support by ClubsNSW as the name partner to the games for the next three years will mean further development of the states best young athletes will be possible.”
The Athlete Education Program will commence rollout in 2017/18.