The 2015 ClubsNSW Academy Games gets underway today on the Central Coast, with the state’s best athletes gathering from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 April.
The games will showcase a variety of sports including AFL, Basketball, Golf, Hockey, Triathlon and, of course our favourite, Netball.
The netball competition starts tomorrow, Saturday 11 April and all but one NSW Regional Academy of Sport (Far West) will attend the two-day tournament, with teams divided into two Divisions. The two divisions will play out in differing locations – Division 1 at Scholastic Stadium, and Division 2 at Central Coast Girls Grammar School.
Click here for more information on the competition, including fixtures.
One Academy who has had an unorthodox preparation to the Games is relative newcomer South East Regional Netball Academy (SERNA), who found themselves playing practice matches against opposition of an international variety.
The SERNA program was introduced in 2014 as a replacement for a previous program in the region and, like the Sydney Netball Academy, is run by Netball NSW. Led by Adele Caesar has Head Coach, local athletes are selected based on their performances during trials.
Click here to read the 2015 SERNA Squad announcement.
The Hong Kong National Youth Team invited SERNA to participate in some match play recently when the team were visiting Canberra as part of an international training camp. Along with practicing their traditional pre-game preparations, both teams also engaged in some formalities, including being called onto court and exchanging gifts.
Caesar said the timing was perfect for her SERNA athletes with the build-up towards Academy Games.
“Match play is integral to a team’s preparations, so to have that against an international side was really valuable for our SERNA girls,” Caesar said.
“The game was fast and hard fought, which was great practice. And it wasn’t just our athletes who were on the receiving end; two umpires who were recently selected in the SERNA umpiring development program oversaw the match, and received coaching from National AA Badged umpires after the game.”
Caesar also noted that the umpires would be joining the SERNA athletes for this weekend’s Academy Games.
“The players and umpires really enjoyed their experience with the Hong Kong side; it was a really different style of play and the opportunity was really invaluable in the lead up to the Academy Games,” Caesar concluded.
This is the second time SERNA has been able to play against visiting international teams, having played against the South African School Girls team last season.
Good luck to all the competing Academy of Sport teams participating in the 2015 ClubsNSW Academy Games.