Young sports stars shine

Young sports stars shine

The Limestone Coast is blessed with young adults that have high sporting skills and attributes and these go hand in hand with the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy.

The academy has been functional for around five years and is headed up by sports and recreation development officer Tony Elletson.

“It all came about back in 2016 when we had a couple of elite coaches come down and work with our local coaches,” he said.

“From there the idea, I was looking into it for a while as a sports field officer and looked across the border and saw that New South Wales and Victoria have had regional sporting academy’s for over 30 years and nothing was happening to support our regional athletes in South Australia.

“We went and spoke to councils and officer of sport and recreation (and said) this is what our plan is and we want to start an academy to help talented athletes.

“Back in 2017 we got a small amount of money from the council and the state to start with 12 athletes – and what we provide (them with) is a 12-month gym membership which includes a strength and condition program that is designed for them to be elite athletes.”

Apart from the conditioning program the academy offers insight to the other side of being at the top level of sport, with monthly education programs with nutrition, public speaking, sport psychology, goal setting and helping to deal with disappointment at the top level.

“That is how we started in 2017 and now we are in to our fifth year and have gone from 12 athletes to 90 and we have added sports specific programs to what we started with. That includes hockey, basketball, swimming, tennis, football and athletics.

“We also have a Lonestar program where athletes of any sport can also be awarded. We have had motocross riders and currently have a young lady that is in the Australian ballet and (these athletes) also get the gym membership and conditioning program.”

Funding has been hard for the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy and in the past weeks that has changed with the latest announcement.

“We have just been lucky enough to receive funding for the next three years ongoing, starting next year,” Elletson said.

“The athletes pay a small fee which covers some costs associated with the program to get them through, but the academy covers the coaches, uniforms and travelling expenses to Adelaide for testing.”

If you are aspiring to be the best or want to become the best, the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy nominations will open next month with forms available online.

“We not only are focused on the sports program we offer, but are always looking to broaden our sports range,” Elletson said.

“If we see an athlete that is worthy of getting into the program, we will work with that governing body and try to get them in and achieve the results needed.”

Some of the other talented locals that have worked through the program include Sarah Dally, Kai Arbury, Brooke Tonon, Leila Croker and Hayden Crowe.

For more information on the program visit Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy’s Facebook page or contact Tony Elletson via the online platform.

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