Following a number of annual submissions by Campbelltown City Council, on behalf of Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly councils, In 1997, the then Department of Sport and Recreation conducted a review into regional academies and identified a need to provide talent development opportunities to athletes in the South West Sydney region; namely the local council areas of Campbelltown, Camden, Liverpool and Wollondilly.
From the review it was clear that talent development opportunities for athletes living in these areas could be enhanced through the establishment of a Regional Academy.
The South West Sydney Academy of Sport was formed in 1997 and was operated by the Department of Sport and Recreation, based in Liverpool, until we became an autonomous organisation in 2002, with the Administration Centre moving to the Gym Centre at UWS Campbelltown.
"The Little Cottage that created Champions"
In late 2004, the South West Sydney Academy of Sport moved closer towards the heart of Campbelltown, finding home in a small fibro cottage at the northern end of Queen Street, Campbelltown. The centre affectionately became known as the 'little cottage that created champions', testament to the community recognising the impact the Academy had on developing the region's athletes.
By mid-2020, the South West Sydney Academy of Sport outgrew its humble little cottage, and moved into the current administration centre, located at the southern end of Queen Street, with the Academy administration centre finding home in the historic 'Coach House'. The location providing the organisation with the office and storage space needed to continue developing the regions athletes, and future community leaders.
The Regional Academies of Sport
In 2005, the South West Sydney Academy of Sport led intial discussions with, and ultimately partnered with, eight other regional Academies as a foundation member of Regional Academies of Sport incorporated (RASi). The goal of RASi is to collaboratively present a range of corporate partnership benefits and opportunities to its member Academy sponsors.
It also allows the sharing of a vast array of intellectual and information resources across the Academy network when facilitating sports program planning.
This collaborative venture culminated in the creation of the ClubsNSW "Your Local Club" Academy Games which presents not only a highly attractive vehicle to gain brand awareness and reach within the sporting and general community, but in creating opportunities with events and inter-Academy competition.
The principal roles of the South West Sydney Academy of Sport are to:
- Facilitate the development and support of talented junior athletes in the region
- Provide these athletes with access to specialist support services including coaching, sports science and sports medicine.
- Identify and support the development of high performance coaches at the local level.
- Provide a clear pathway for athletes from the junior development through to State and National representation.
The South West Sydney Academy of Sport aims to provide high quality, community focused, talented athlete and coach identification and development programs which assist athletes and coaches to successfully realise their sporting potential.
The Academy's focus is therefore more on the development of athletes with a mindset of competing with, rather than competing against other athletes so that both may gain development and success.
"To see an athlete develop and achieve their sporting potential several years from now is more important than the trophy that sits in a cabinet meaning nothing". (Craig, 2003)
Servicing the wider community
The Academy Administration Centre is located at 2/298 Queen St, Campbelltown.
The Academy provides an administrative service from this location, with the majority of squad sessions occurring at local sporting grounds and venues throughout the Academy catchment area.
This decentralised approach allows athletes from the region access to train within their own club and association environments, as well as promoting the SWSAS pathway's to our community's club level athletes.