Pulling together a multi-sport program development model such as the Illawarra Academy of Sport can only be undertaken with great partnerships. The increasingly valuable role that the University of Wollongong plays in this development can not be undersold. A vital partner in facilities, research and keeping the IAS at the cutting edge is so important for the continual development of the athletes and their programs.
A recent conference with the Regional Academies of sport continued to highlight how important it is to ensure programs and athletic development are linked to the outcomes of the State Sporting Organisations, the Office of Sport and vital sponsorship partners. It highlighted the enormous contribution the Collegians Club and the Your Local Club network plays. A major contributor to the upcoming Academy Games, these partners provide competition opportunities that could simply not be undertaken without them.
Strength and conditioning is such a vital element in the development of emerging elite competitors of the Illawarra and the capacity to link to UOW and Council based facilities with quality programs from BaiMed, places our athletes in the best position possible to allow for their physical development.
The recent link with AFL in the development of a Women’s AFL program for the 14–16 year olds is another great partnership. Interested players need to register with the IAS at www.ias.org.au for the March 7 trials at Bonaira Oval, Kiama.