HAS Celebrated on World Scale
31st August 2021
By Bianca Smith
(Image: Mariah Williams in action for HAS in 2011.)
The Regional Academies of Sport (RAS) were represented by 25 past and present athletes last month when the world united for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Of these 25, RAS was represented on the podium with 11 medals across 12 different sports, equating to 24% of the total medals won by Australia.
This high number of RAS alumni in Tokyo, as well as our incredible medal tally highlight the significance of our partnership with the NSW Government through the Office of Sport which has allowed the RAS network to help foster the development of young regional talent across NSW.
From a pathway perspective, the NSW Institute of Sport currently has 180 contracted athletes that came via the RAS pathway.
The RAS would like to congratulate the following former athletes on their podium finishes: Emma McKeon (Illawarra) – Swimming, 4x Gold, 3x Silver; Jessica Fox (Western Sydney) – Canoe Slalom, Gold and Bronze; Matt Dawson (Hunter and Central Coast), Lachlan Sharp (Western Region), Blake Govers (Illawarra), Flynn Ogilvie (Illawarra) - Hockey – Silver Medal; Nicola McDermott (Central Coast) – High Jump, Silver Medal;
Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS), Brett O’Farrell, stated, “It is certainly a great reward for these athletes, their families and their support crew that follows many years of hard work, dedication and determination.”
“For some that journey started a decade ago with their RAS and as always we are thrilled to see any regional based athlete progress to any major world sporting event, and Tokyo is no different. The RAS network were all cheering on from home, and a big congratulations to these special few,” he continued.
HAS specifically were represented by 5 athletes on the world scale: Mariah Williams and Matt Dawson (Hockey), Aaron Royle (Triathlon) and Richie Campbell and Nathan Power (Waterpolo).
HAS is part of the Regional Academies of Sport (RAS) collective, made up of nine independent organisations and two government man- aged operations, supporting 2500 young athletes and 350 coaches across 30 varied sporting codes.
Holistic education for the younger generation with a focus on building mental resilience and goal setting is among many healthy life- style directives the academies promote. With the disruption caused by COVID-19 in 2020 and again in 2021, the RAS network has been able to make some ground-breaking advances in athlete and coach education and athlete support.
Nominations for the 2020/21 Cycling (EOI), Golf, Hockey, Basketball, Lawn Bowls, Future Stars (All Sports) and Aussie Rules Football programs are now open, with programs scheduled to run from October 2021 to April 2022.
For more information on the Academy, and to nominate for the above programs, visit www.hunteracademy. org.au