HAS Pathways Fostering Talent
23rd August 2022
By Bianca Smith
The Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS) has officially kicked off its 2022/2023 season, opening nominations for five of its elite sporting development programs for athletes from the Hunter region.
HAS is part of the Regional Academies of Sport (RAS) collective, made up of 9 independent organisations and 2 government man- aged operations, supporting 2 500 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.
In what has been explained as an investment in Australia’s Future Sporting Champions, the RAS have welcomed funding from the NSW Government through the Office of Sport which has allowed the RAS network to continue to foster the development of young regional talent across NSW. The funds will be used for regional talent identification in regional NSW areas before placing those recognised young athletes into quality pre-elite programs managed in their home region. It gives prospective future champions the chance to develop and train at home connecting these young people with quality coaching and high-performance support resources without the necessity of moving to metro areas.
The funding comes 10 years out from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games and confirms the RAS network as a breeding ground for our country’s Olympic Champions.
This long-lasting relationship was highlighted in the latest Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycle, where the RAS system produced 29 athletes that represented Australia, bringing home 11 medals in Tokyo and 20 representatives in Birmingham winning 16 medals.
From a pathway perspective, the NSW Institute of Sport currently has one hundred and eighty contracted athletes that came via the Regional Academy of Sport pathway.
In 2021, more than five hundred talented young sportspeople competed in HAS programs.
Nominations for the 2022/23 Cycling, Golf, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball programs are now open, with programs scheduled to run from October 2022 to April 2023.
For more information on the Academy, and to nominate for the above programs, visit www.hunteracademy.org.au