Regional Academies of Sport Attend Parliamentary Function
23rd September 2019
By Bianca Smith
On Tuesday 17th September the Regional Academies of Sport (RASi) came together at Parliament House to be recognized by the NSW Government and Office of Sport for their role in regional sport development. The function was hosted by The Hon. Jonathan O’Dea MP and was addressed by Acting Minister for Sport The Hon. Geoff Lee.
The Hunter Academy of Sport was represented by staff members Brett O'Farrell, Sallie Partiridge and Bianca Smith, alongside athlete representatives WIl Morgan (Basketball) and Maddison Mueller (Netball).
Ian Robillard OAM, Chairman of RASi said “Regional Academies are a little like the AIS, only better, completely local and fully committed to our regions. RASi is the lead organization in the development of athlete pathways. The expertise here today is basically unmatched in the sports industry and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this incredibly unique network. RASi is unique; it’s a network that money can’t buy you entry to, it’s earnt, it’s priceless and it’s something this state cannot go without. The Parliamentary Reception is our chance to demonstrate that for every $1 received through our government alignment we are able to return $24 into regional NSW. A return applied to regional youth, and surely our youth support strategy for regional NSW is a critical element to the success of the RASi network.”
In the past year alone, RASi has provided the following: 125 sport talent programs, access for 2,360 athletes into those sport talent programs, a female to male participation ratio of 58:42, engagement with 337 coaches, 470 volunteers who contributed $1.6M in financial value to the state, and RASi was critical in creating 187 jobs throughout the state. These numbers are secondary to the quality of the people RASi is helping to develop, RASi is critical in the development of the social fabric of our regional communities, this is truly our success. These numbers and our success will surely grow if the government investment into RASi continues to grow with our own aspirational goals.
The function also included an inspiring speech from Commonwealth and Olympic diver Melissa Wu, aswell as a RASi athlete response from Hunter Academy of Sport Netballer Maddison Mueller.