Over the weekend the next generation of New South Wales netball stars gathered in Narrabeen to attend the 2013 Talented Athlete Program (TAP) Camp, a three-day practical workshop to learn from some of the best in the business.
In its fifth year, 60 emerging pre-elite athletes from all corners of the State attended the camp at Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation and were joined by four Singaporean athletes and their Head Coach as special guests.
Netball NSW Coach Development Coordinator Dianne Brown said it was the fourth year Netball Singapore has sent athletes to the TAP Camp, using the weekend as a development opportunity not just for their young players but also their coach.
“The (Singaporean) athletes were immersed into the different groups and participated in all the workshops and skills sessions across the weekend, you could really see them taking everything in,” Brown said.
“It was a really great opportunity for [Singapore 21U Head Coach] Joanne [Kyra Loo Puay Khoon] to also use the weekend for her own development, learning from experienced coaches such as [NSW Swifts Head Coach] Rob Wright and [NSW Institute of Sport Head Coach] Sue Hawkins.”
“At the end of the weekend, Joanne said it was an honour and privilege to attend the camp, but really the honour and privilege was ours that they came and brought another dynamic to the group,” Brown concluded.
The camp was broken up into practical sessions and discussion workshops, with physiotherapists Brett Doring and Daniel Vukovic, as well as dietician Samantha Rand, educating participants on the responsibilities of elite athletes, including; recovery techniques, nutrition, self-strapping and self-massage.
Saturday and Sunday the athletes hit the court, participating in a range of activities focussing on ball work, footwork, as well as team strategies to develop ‘thinking players’. Mentors such as Wright, Hawkins and 2013 NSW State Team Head coaches Maria Lynch (21U), Jo Macdermid (19U) and Lenore Blades (17U) also provided advice and guidance to the Regional Academy coaches in attendance, offering them a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches in the netball community.
Reflecting on the weekend, Brown said she couldn’t be happier with the progress of NSW up-and-coming athletes.
“This was the third year I have been involved in the TAP camp and my impression of the weekend is that overall, it’s one of the strongest groups we have had,” Brown said.
“What’s incredibly pleasing is that there is little between athletes from regional NSW and those based in Sydney, which is indicative of the efforts that Netball NSW’s Sports Development team are doing in the community, and also the High Performance department are doing with the Regional Academies. It also shows the successful implementation of the Develop a Diamond Academy program which we began in 2011.”
“In my closing address to the group I made three points; 1) that we appreciated their application, commitment and focus across the entire weekend, 2) we were impressed with their technical ability, especially at such a young age, and 3) that we are excited about the potential this group has,” Brown concluded.
That potential could soon be put to the test with TAP athletes attending their first State Team trial in two weeks.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the 2013 TAP Camp and good luck to all athletes attending 2014 NSW State Team trials in the upcoming weeks.