Academy Athletes take on Ninja Warrior Challenge

Written on the 27 June 2022 by SWSAS

Academy Athletes take on Ninja Warrior Challenge

All South West Sydney Academy of Sport athletes were invited to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, to see who had the “Heart of a Ninja Warrior,” at the Burns Obstacle Course in Bringelly, over the weekend of June 25.

During what will become an annual fixture on the Academy calendar, athletes were challenged individually, and as a team in leadership situations. By facing numerous obstacles that most definitely took them outside their comfort zone, including swinging from rope ladders and climbing over ten-foot walls.

What added to the event was that the athletes who took on the leadership day challenge, came from a wide range of Academy sports, including Softball, AFLW, Basketball, Golf and Triathlon programs.

“The course was fantastic, it forced the athletes to test themselves both physically and mentally” said the Academy’s Operations and Media Coordinator, Stephen Craig, who added, “At the start of the day athletes didn’t really know one another, but by its end they were all cheering each other on, to conquer the warped wall and ring the bell at the top of the rope ladder.”

Triathlon athlete Zoe Bruce took to the course like a duck to water, or should we say a ‘warrior to battle,’ as she went about ticking off each obstacle and refusing to let the threat of a potential rope burn, or fatigue limit her challenge.

Yet it was the invisible ladder that gave Zoe her greatest contest. She stated that the rope climb was a definite a favourite, as was the invisible ladder, as she had not done it before. It was a great test of her endurance and determination to succeed.

Leading from the front around the obstacle course, Zoe made sure her newly formed team mates were not left behind.

“The best part of the experience was meeting new athletes from within the Academy,” said Zoe, who admitted by the end of the day that her training, not only as a triathlete, but also as a competitive cheerleader may have given her a bit of an advantage in getting up the rope ladder.

“The challenging course has three warped walls of varying heights which gave all our athletes the opportunity to assess themselves,” said Craig.

And it was challenges such as the warped wall, made famous by television’s Ninja Warrior program, that brought out the best in all the athletes. And by the time it was time to leave for the day, a large number of athletes had attempted the highest wall (over 4m high), some twenty, or thirty times.

Whilst most athletes will have to wait another two years before they are eligible to compete on Australia’s Ninja Warrior, the Burns Obstacle Course has definitely helped light the competitive fire, inside each of these Academy warriors.

As athletes finally headed home, dual Basketball and Softball athlete Abdullah Cabello, ‘not to be defeated,’ let out one final war cry as he gave the highest warped wall one final attempt, with a “I touched the top, yes!” heralding in what was an incredible day.

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