The Gippsland Sports Academy is preparing to wrap up what it describes as another hugely successful year.
This year marks its 20th year of operation for the academy which offers talented Gippsland athletes the opportunity to reach their full potential in their chosen sport.
Aside from expert technical coaching, the Gippsland Sports Academy also delivers sport science programs for its athletes, covering everything from strength and conditioning to psychology, nutrition, hydration and personal development sessions.
Its full sports programs cover swimming, tennis, volleyball, netball, clay target shooting, golf and gymnastics, and have fostered the development of a number of big name athletes over the years.
National record-holder and Olympic swimmer Ash Delaney and Paralympian Emily Beecroft are just two successful products the Gippsland Sports Academy has churned out over the years, largely thanks to its multi-faceted approach to sport, according to executive officer Jim Vivian.
“We’re all about helping [our athletes] achieve the best they can in their sport and assist in their personal lives as well,” Vivian said.
“We recruit high-performing young athletes recommended through state or local organisations and provide state level coaches who run sessions up to 12 times a year complemented by sports psychology, nutrition and medicine, so the athletes get to experience at a really high level and hopefully the Commonwealth and Olympic games.”
On what is needed to make the most of their time at the Gippsland Sports Academy, Vivian said athletes were invariably “high-achievers”.
“All of the athletes do lead busy lives and a lot are in that critical year 11 and 12 phase, so we assist with being able to plan their time, prioritise and get a balance between family, friends, sport and academia,” he said.
“All of the young people are really aware of the challenges ahead but that’s all part of being an elite athlete, they need to be able to work on those things together and do it successfully, and we help them do that.”
Currently in its talent identification stage for 2018, the academy is now looking forward to competition season next year.
“Lots of our programs will work towards the nationals in April, and we’re looking at all our swimmers achieving national times in their age groups,” Vivian said.
With “substantial support” from local shire councils and sponsors, the Gippsland Sports Academy is focused on “offsetting costs” for its athletes and affording them access to elite sporting pathways.
“Each one [of the programs] has that component of working towards the competitive time of year and we always hope to have assisted as many athletes as possible to achieve their best,” Vivian said.
For more information about the Gippsland Sports Academy, visit www.sportgippsland.org.au