Academy opens doors to scholarships

Yass Valley athletes and coaches will soon be reaping the benefits of the newly announced scholarships for the South East Sports Academy (SESA). 

Beneficiaries: Scott Naughton of the Yass Magpies is one of those to have benefited from his time at the SESA. Photo: Yass Tribune.

Beneficiaries: Scott Naughton of the Yass Magpies is one of those to have benefited from his time at the SESA. Photo: Yass Tribune.

They was disclosed last Friday by Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Monaro John Barilaro and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, and will provide development programs for Bega, Eurobodalla, Yass, the Snowy Mountains, and Queanbeyan. 

Mr Barilaro said that the academy will support up to 50 of the state’s athletes and will include a grant of up to $500 to assist education and travel. 

The SESA initially announced that it was under the jurisdiction of the Office of Sport in April, but planning has been underway since February after the South East Regional Academy of Sports (SERAS) ordinary meeting. 

Mr Barilaro said that “the NSW Government understands the importance of helping young athletes move from grass roots to elite sport, and is excited to launch the new sporting academy in regional NSW,” and said that the athletes who are selected will have access to a comprehensive two-day sports education course. 

The academy has opened its doors to applications from potential coaching staff, and Mr Ayres said that they were looking to work with up to ten high performing coaches from around the region with advancement opportunities through financial scholarships, accreditation courses and mentoring opportunities with elite level coaches.

The academy will not be specifically targeting individual athletes; it will also offer “squad programs in partnership with state sport organisations, including golf, cycling, netball and surfing, and is looking to expand into other sports,” according to Mr Ayres. 

“A sport governance course targeted towards management committees from sports clubs across the region is also available for application.”

The academy will extend its reach to the local governments of Yass Valley, Bega Valley, Snowy Monaro, Eurobodalla, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Goulburn-Mulwarree, Upper Lachlan, and Hilltops. 

Yass Valley Council general manager David Rowe said the Office of Sport’s decision to take control was “all positive. The office is very keen to get going.”

Applications are now open. For more information, or to submit nominations, go to www.sesa.net.au.