HAS Host Inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Talent Identification Day
21st March 2022
By Bianca Smith
The 2022 Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS) Underwriting Agencies Australia (UAA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Talent Identification Day was held on Friday, March 18th with close to 160 students in attendance at Maitland Basketball Stadium.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Hunter High Schools were given the opportunity to come together under the watchful eyes of some of the regions most experienced sports coaches. Seven (7) sporting disciplines were again in action including Triathlon, Aussie Rules, Basketball, Netball, Golf, Baseball and Function Movement Screenings.
The concept of a Talent Identification Day (TID) was developed in partnership between the Central Coast Academy of Sport (CCAS) and UAA with a focus to ‘unearth’ local indigenous talent from the Hunter region and to then be able to provide full scholarships to HAS Sports Programs.
The end goal is the Academy will invite the top performers from the day to take part in an six (6) week training program starting in the latter half of 2022. From here students will be invited to join one of the already existing sports programs operated by the HAS throughout 2022.
Michael Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of UAA said of the day, “UAA is committed to supporting pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders to succeed in life and sport may help with that goal. We are delighted to partner with HAS, as well as 5 other Regional Academies of Sport throughout NSW to provide this unique opportunity locally. This event has run successfully for the past 6 years on the Central Coast and we are excited to see this expanded throughout NSW.”
He continued, “We are delighted with how this event ran and the extension into the HAS Tabloid Program or the full HAS Sports Program is just fantastic. I appreciate that coming out of COVID-19 has had some significant considerations for the local high schools and to those schools who saw the benefit of participation, a huge thank you”.
Bianca Smith, Events and Communications Officer at HAS followed, “The day was quite remarkable, the level of coaches we had on hand to coordinate the day made this event possible. I can’t thank our volunteer coaches enough, they readily offer their and are always overwhelmed by their willingness to get involved and to make the day the success it was. The Academy really have done something very special in partnership with UAA, so hats off to UAA on providing the financial support to make this day and the scholarships that follow a reality for our region and the athletes who took part. It’s easy to take sport for granted and we found out today just how essential a program like this is for our region.”