For the first time in Western Sydney Academy history snow sports have found a place among our programs. Lachlan Greentree is an alpine skier from Rouse Hill who has recently been accepted into the 2017 Heartland Motors Lone Star program. Lachlan has been skiing since 2011 where he found his calling on family holiday to the snow.
Mitchell Parsons is the second of two Athletics stars to be accepted into the 2017 Heartland Motors Lone Star program. Mitchell attends Westfield Sports High School for his talent in athletics, particularly in the discipline of long distance running.
The Academy has welcomed young Paige Merriman from Westfields Sports High School into the new Heartland Motors Lone Star program. Paige has been competing in Athletics since 2007 at a mere four years of age. Specialising in long distance events including the 800m, 1500m and 2000m steeplechase, Paige has high achievements on a National level.
As the Heartland Motors Lone Star Program begins, the first athlete we would like to introduce is Elisabeth Kidane, a gymnast from Westfields Sports High School. Elisabeth is excited to be accepted into the program explaining “I see the Academy opening up more opportunities for me, helping me grow as an athlete as well as a person”.
The education of athletes has been a primary focus for the Academy over the May/June period. An education blitz is being delivered to athletes in various squads on a range of different topics from nutrition to sports psychology to strength and conditioning! Athletes from the Academy’s golf, cycling, hockey and softball squads have and will continue to gather at Blacktown International Sportspark to gain valuable insight into what it takes to become an elite athlete both in and out of their respective sporting arenas.
2016 Lone Star athlete Rachel Wood has proven her strength in the surf time and time again. Last year Rachel competed in the Youth Surf Lifesaving World Championships where she secured an array of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. This year, Rachel is moving up from the Youth Championships and has been selected in the Australian Open Surf Lifesaving Squad.
On Monday 1 May, the Academy’s Harold Matthews and SG Ball squads gathered at St Mary’s Rugby League Club for the 11th Annual Rugby League Presentation, to recognise the hard work and improvements made over the course of the program. With valuable stakeholders in the room including those from NSW Rugby League, Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers, players were awarded with some significant awards.
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 to $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.
In October 2016 talented AFL athletes from across Western Sydney were inducted into the Academy’s AFL squad. This program would see the athletes develop their skills and knowledge before gaining the opportunity to move on to the next level in the development pathway. This month the GWS Giants selected their U16 GWS Giants Academy squad with a long list of those selected coming from the Western Sydney Academy of Sports AFL Squad.
The weekend of 7th-9th April saw the Academy’s Hockey, Netball, Golf and boys Softball squads head to the NSW Central Coast to compete against ten other Regional Academies from across the state. Hosted once again by the Central Coast Academy of Sport, the ClubsNSW Academy Games showcased the sporting talent in regional NSW in particular our Western Sydney athletes.