The 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games officially kicked off on Friday 16th April with AFL, Basketball and Hockey the first sports to start. It was this time last year when sport was turned on it’s head with sport being cancelled and lock down put in place. Like so many sports the 2020 Your Local Clubs Academy Games was cancelled, so to be able to compete and watch the enjoyment this event provides was a highlight I’m sure the 1,300 athletes will enjoy and reflect on for many years to come.
The Your Local Club Academy Games commenced with an exhibition game for boys AFL on Friday afternoon at Tulkaba Oval, Teralba. The CCAS put in a strong showing against the more fancied Hunter Academy AFL team. The exhibition sport provides a great opportunity for teams to compete in an environment which is otherwise not possible.
Over Saturday and Sunday the CCAS AFL girls U14, U16 and U18 competed against other academies in well fought matches. For some games CCAS teamed up with NCAS to be able to field a full team and allow both Academies’ athletes the opportunity to compete.
The basketball competition saw the CCAS girls team come away with the silver medal after some huge wins throughout the pool competition. The CCAS boys team finished in 5th position following a win in the 5v6 playoff game against Southern Sports Academy. Both the CCAS boys and girls teams had extensive preparation leading into the Your Local Club Academy Games and a very pleasing result for the CCAS. The highlight of the competition was the girls semi final where CCAS beat North Coast by a last gasp shot that won the game for the CCAS. As Jacinta Govind Girls Head Coach said post the game, “you normally see this type of quality game on television so to be a part of this was unreal and all credit to the girls on a hard fought win”.
In golf, the CCAS squad were very successful after playing at Horizons Golf Resort in Port Stephens and Charlestown Golf Course on the Sunday. Two very impressive and challenging golf courses. The CCAS team struggled through some really tough conditions on the Saturday with continuous rain and wind on the Horizons Golf Course which presented a good test for all players. The sun returned on Sunday and CCAS squad members Finlay Taylor and Kiara Connolly-Jackson finished first in the boys and girls respectively in the Nett competition.
The CCAS Hockey tournament was held at the newly refurbished Central Coast Hockey Fields. The CCAS squad were well represented at the Your Local Club Academy Games this year fielding full teams in both the boys and girls competitions. The CCAS boys squad finished 5th overall with the CCAS girls squad coming in 7th. Both squads showed huge growth throughout the tournament with CCAS Head Coach Brett Johnson noting how far the athletes have come through the program. A huge congratulations to Noah Needham and Charlotte Tarleton who were names MVP from their respective teams.
Netball Head Coach Jess Morgan and Development Coach Jessie-Ellen Standen faced the biggest challenges over the weekend when the Saturday competition at the netball had to be changed last minute from a 4 court draw to a two court competition due to rain effecting the playing surface at the Maitland Federation Centre. Showing great resilience, the CCAS girls were all able to take the court for the shorter games and come away with a number of pleasing wins. The CCAS Greater Bank division 1 team came away with 3 wins, and a draw while the Div 2 team had two wins. A huge congratulations to Makenzee Ryan (Div 1) and Gabrielle Nicholls (Div 2) for being named the CCAS MVP’s for the Netball competition.
CCAS Netball umpires were well represented at the Academy Games Netball competition by Brianna Goldie, Amelia Carty and Jessica McGarvey. Guided by CCAS Head Umpires Coach Abby Holloway Brianna was able to be awarded her National C Badge. A huge thank you to all the umpires who made sure the netball competition ran smoothly under demanding conditions.
The Triathlon Events for Your Local Clubs Academy Games were held at Cams Wharf on the pristine waters of Lake Macquarie. Racing was held over (two) 2 days, with Individual Events on the Saturday and Mixed Team Relay on the Sunday and was held in conjunction with the Triathlon Australia National Championships. Under challenging wet weather conditions, CCAS Athletes performed exceptionally well with Morgan Charlton and Wade Barr both coming away with Bronze medals in the Your Local Clubs Academy Games Youth Individual Championships.
Morgan and Wade were selected to race in a Triathlon NSW team for the Mixed Team Relay, securing a second place in the Triathlon Australia Youth National Mixed Team Relay Championships, and a win for the Your Local Clubs Academy Games Youth Mixed Team Relay Championships. Stella Norris was placed in a mixed team with Hunter Academy of Sport and also secured a second place in the Your Local Club Academy Games Junior Mixed Team Relay Championships. Izabella McBurney raced in the junior category and had the second fastest female swim time in the relays. Ariella Zofrea performed well off the back of a recent crash that put her out of training for a short while.
As always, the ClubsNSW Academy Games is a weekend to showcase some the incredible skill and talent of athletes from Regional Academies across NSW. This year was no different, with the CCAS performing brilliantly across all sports contested.
It is appropriate to offer a huge congratulations to all the CCAS athletes that took part over the weekend and are absolutely thrilled with all of the results and achievements that our athletes achieved. CCAS athletes represented their coaches, families and the region superbly over the weekend and it is a credit to all that CCAS finished with outstanding results.
The other success story of the weekend was the dedication, commitment and generous provision of time that the CCAS coaches, assistant coaches and managers gave to each of the CCAS squads. Our organization would like to thank each and every one of them for the many volunteer hours that they commit to the CCAS athletes: Mitch Ede (Head Coach AFL), Dave Fairchild (Assistant Coach AFL), Shannon McKiernan (Assistant Coach AFL), Luke Le Page (Assistant Coach AFL), Steven Burke (Assistant Coach AFL), Kyle Robinson (Development Coach AFL), Will Granger (Program Head Coach Basketball), Hammish Loader (Head Coach Boys Basketball), Nick Hassab (Assistant Coach Boys Basketball), Jacinta Govind (Head Coach Girls Basketball), John Gunderson (Assistant Coach Girls Basketball), Taylah Thomas (Assistant Coach Girls Basketball), Brent McMahon (Manager Boys Basketball), Michelle Hudson (Manager Girls Basketball), Sean Herden (Manager Golf program), Jess Morgan (Head Coach Netball), Jessie-Ellen Standen (Development Coach Netball), Donna Judge (Program Manager Netball), Brett Johnson (Program Head Coach Hockey), Mark McDermott (Assistant Coach Boys Hockey), Peter Moore (Assistant Coach Girls Hockey), Ros Cheetham (Assistant Coach Boys Hockey), Kelly Greenwood (Assistant Coach Girls Hockey), Robyn Low-Hart (Head Coach Triathlon), Linda Zofrea (Squad Manager), Melanie & Adrian Charlton (Volunteers) and Tia Hart (Course Marshall).
The 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games is proudly supported by Your local club, the NSW Government, Newcastle City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, NBN News, Regional Academies of Sport and the Hunter Academy of Sport.