Adax Brienan has spent the past few years shuttling back and forth between Sydney and Wollongong to pursue his sporting dreams.
Those trips will become less common after the Illawarra Academy of Sport launched a new volleyball program last month.
Brienan and older sister Kaia are two athletes to immediately benefit from the addition, the pair previously required to travel to Sydney to receive high-level training.
The new Academy program will provide a clearer pathway for Illawarra's youngsters and Adax is hopeful it helps the sport grow in the region.
"There will be more opportunities for people down here," the 15-year-old said. "Eventually we'll have more of a club program in the Illawarra and we won't have to travel to Sydney."
The program is presently focused on indoor volleyball, however the Academy hopes to incorporate beach volleyball throughout summer.
It is intended to provide a pathway to state junior representative programs.
Illawarra Academy of Sport head coach Scott Hatch said the early signs are positive and he's eager to see the program grow in coming years.
"We want to give a pathway for the athletes who are coming through," Hatch said. "Talking to coaches, there really isn't that middle ground. You're either at school level or a really high level. We want to fill in that middle bit and provide a pathway.
"We want to connect the players with other volleyball athletes. When we're able to travel, we'll have camps to show them what else is out there."