Over the weekend the Illawarra Academy of Sport visited the Southern Highlands to conduct a basketball training session which was led by the Academy’s Head Coach Rhys Martin from the Illawarra Hawks.
The Academy currently provides athlete development to a number of sports including cricket, cycling, golf, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby union, triathlon and basketball.
These programs not only provide technical skill acquisition and overall physical development, but they also focus on the personal and professional maturity of the athlete through an education curriculum including sports nutrition, performance psychology, time management, goal setting, drugs in sport, public speaking and media awareness.
This unique approach to athlete development assists in positively and significantly influencing the next generation of athletes and in the process creates better sporting citizens within our community.
The Illawarra Academy of Sport has supported over 5000 regional athletes for over 30 years.
The IAS operates through the Illawarra’s geographic region comprising the five local government areas of Wollongong, Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee.
Two of the Highlands’ talented basketballers, Bailey Benson and Summer Lewis have been selected to undertake the IAS program.
Both Bailey and Summer have already shown great improvement since being part of the program, which has led to them both being selected as part of the NSW Country Tour squads which will be competing in Newcastle and Albury in January 2018.
Bailey also had the honour of being team captain for Moss Vale’s first ever Country Premier League team who competed in a tournament involving the best eight teams from within New South Wales Country.
This team competed strongly throughout the tournament and they also won the Division One title at the NSW Country Championships which was played over the June long weekend earlier this year.
To cap off a great year, Bailey was awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and he also took out Moss Vale Basketball’s ‘Male Representative Player of the Year’ award.
Summer also had a very successful representative season this year being selected as part of the NSW elite D-League competition, and also being voted as Moss Vale’s ‘Female Representative Player of the Year’.