Illawarra Sports High has announced the birth of a new era at the school, with the launch of three new sporting programs for 2019.
The school unveiled a brand new hockey program, while the football codes experienced a shake-up, with touch rugby league and oztag spun off into a Touch and Tag program separate from rugby sevens, which now comes under the rugby union umbrella.
The hockey program will be led by Hockey NSW regional coaching coordinator Paul Schofield and three-time Olympian Casey Sablowski and is intended to provide elite coaching for juniors in the Illawarra.
As an emerging talent based in Albion Park, Sablowski was forced to spend many hours driving up to Sydney each week for training. This program, she believes, will help relieve the time pressures on teenagers hoping to reach representative heights.
“For the Illawarra Sports High, being able to have the kids combine their education alongside quality coaching is really important,” Sablowski said.
“Having the kids being able to have two one-and-a-half-hour sessions coached by experienced coaches, it just alleviates the pressure for them to have to go and find more time outside school to make up those sessions.”
Illawarra Sports High director of sports Amy Child said the school hopes to become a pillar of high performance junior hockey in the region throughout the next few years.
“We are working towards being the school based High Performance Centre for the development of aspiring young hockey athletes in the Illawarra and South Coast region,” Child said.
“The school is very excited to finally be able to offer hockey again to the many talented students throughout the region who regard it as their first-choice sport”.
The program will be open to an equal number of boys and girls and talented players in years six to ten are invited to attend trials at Illawarra Hockey Centre on Tuesday August 21. Registrations are essential and those interested should head to the school’s website to register.