Academy program identifies, develops top western zone netball talent

TWENTY-NINE talented netballers from the western zone will be put through their paces this weekend as the 2014 Netball Victoria Zone Academy program gets under way.

The program aims to provide a concurrent development opportunity for players, coaches, umpires and team managers and is based on the Netball Australia Dare to Develop a Diamond  Academy. 

The program is made up of components that include technical and tactical, athlete wellbeing and physical preparation. 

The western zone is made up of the Central Highlands region (associations and leagues in and around Ballarat), the Glenelg region (Portland, Hamilton and through to the South Australia border) and the Western region (Mortlake to Camperdown, Port Fairy and Hamilton and Portland football-netball clubs). 

Western zone team manager Marg Morgan said players had been identified at a selection day in September last year. She said squads of about 25-30 athletes were chosen  for each zone academy and invited to participate in the 10-month program the following year. 

“Sessions will be done once a month either in Warrnambool or in Ballarat,” she said. 

“Something a bit different this year is three whole-day sessions for fitness testing and other associated development areas will be held at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne.” 

Morgan said the Western Region Academy would be headed by Geelong’s Rebecca Faulmann, with Timboon’s Kim Jamieson as assistance and Koroit champion Stacey O’Sullivan apprentice coach. 

She said all zone academies would participate in the inter-academy weekend at the State Netball and Hockey Centre. 

“The inter-academy weekend is an important part of the Netball Victoria athlete pathway,” she said. 

“The inter-academy weekend provides 17 and under Victorian state selectors a chance to view all academy athletes and identify athletes to attend the 17 and under state squad selections.”

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