'BHP Billiton - Illawarra Coal' Inter-Academy Netball Challenge

Written on the 19 February 2014 by SWSAS

'BHP Billiton - Illawarra Coal' Inter-Academy Netball Challenge Talent development was to the fore, when the South West Sydney Academy of Sport, Netball squad got together with its on court arch rivals the Western Sydney Academy of Sport for the annual ‘BHP Billiton - Illawarra Coal’ Inter-Academy Challenge, at the Whitlam Centre in Liverpool.

The day was fully devoted to testing the girls’ fitness, on court skills and educating players on personal injury management. Events commenced with Netball specific fitness testing by Catherine Phillips the technical officer for sport and exercise science, at the University of Western Sydney. 
Academy sports program manager Nicole Styles said, fitness testing is done three times throughout the program to keep track on the athlete’s improvements and to provide quality feedback to Netball NSW.
Highly regarded physiotherapist Van Nguyen provided both competing Academies with a very hands-on education session talking about injury management and prevention techniques, as well as a taping demonstration, where athletes strapped each other’s phantom injuries.

The athletes then got the chance to display their skills in a series of modified matches; in what were the Academies first match play sessions of their 2014 programs. Results were even with skill development being the winner on the day.

These matches also gave a great opportunity for game practice in the lead up to the ClubsNSW Academy Games, which will being held 11 to 13 April, in Illawarra.

In other news, two local Academy athletes Laura Henderson and Olivia Rowntree have been named in the 2014 NSW U17 Development squad, following comprehensive NSW Netball selection process. Masani Francis made it through to the top 32 after Phase I and II of trials.

Styles proudly stated that this was justification of the girls’ talent, as Laura and Olivia only narrowly missed out on NSW team selection.

The girls’ came through the Academy’s 15’s Development program and have this year taken the step into its Open’s program.

The U17 Development squad has been introduced by NSW Netball this year and will have an identical training schedule as its NSW U17 counterparts.

The program will culminate in a two game fixture against St Margaret’s High School, recognised as one of the top secondary school teams in New Zealand. The games will be played on Thursday 17 April at the Anne Clark Centre, Lidcombe.

In U19 NSW team selections Kara Styles, Kodee Heddle and Jade Riley made it into the final selection phase, with Kara Styles being named a reserve for the U19 NSW team.


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