NIAS Report: A great partnership

Preparation: Morgan Dunn and Will Mozzell from the Inverell RSM AFL program undergo the UNE testing process.

Preparation: Morgan Dunn and Will Mozzell from the Inverell RSM AFL program undergo the UNE testing process.

Athletes from the Northern Inland Academy of Sport’s AFL, netball and football under 17s programs gathered at the University of New England for extra testing and education recently.

The squads already had planned training sessions in Armidale but due to the new partnership deal between NIAS and UNE, it allowed the perfect opportunity for both parties to work together.

For the NIAS athletes, they got to gauge their fitness and strength levels. The data gained from the weekend will allow these athletes to find out where they are compared to other members of their squad and other squads. It will also help them identify what they need to work on to improve.

For the university students, this access to the athletes gives them great practical experience they can use in their exercise and sports studies courses. With 140 hours of workplace experience required, this is a great way to get started, especially with young athletes training at their doorstep.

Northern Inland Academy of Sport CEO James Cooper says this co-operation between NIAS and the University of New England is fantastic.

“The impact that these testing and education days can have on our athletes is incredible. The ability to see their performances in black and white means there is no hiding for our athletes,” he said. “They’ll be able to compare themselves to other athletes and find out where their strengths and weaknesses are. It will also give the coaches an overview of their teams and an idea of what they need to focus on in their coaching sessions.

“We’re also glad to be able to help out UNE. The university is such a big part of the Northern Inland and if we can help make their courses more attractive by offering young pre-elite athletes for their students, then we’re only more than happy to help.”

Morgan Dunn is one of the Inverell RSM AFL athletes. He said: “It has been a tough day, they really put us through our paces but I’m looking forward to seeing the results. I did this sort of thing a few years ago and I’m really excited to see how I’ve improved and what I need to work on.”

The goal is for the UNE students to then perform the tests again at the end of the programs and see how the athletes have improved.

Happy to keep improving in her sport: Sarah Mcilveen at the NIAS Growth Day.

Happy to keep improving in her sport: Sarah Mcilveen at the NIAS Growth Day.

ATHLETE PROFILE: Sarah Mcilveen

Sport? I’m a member of the Carlo's IGA and the Glen Innes & District Services Club Netball Program.

What town or city are you from? Moore Creek

How long have you been involved with NIAS? I have been a part of the NIAS netball program for three years now.

Age?  I’m 15 on April 22.

Ambition? I’m just happy to try and be the best player I can be and continue to learn, improve and enjoy my sport.

Highest achievement? At the club level, I’ve played in the 11s development squad, in under 13s and 14s I was in the full rep team.

Biggest Influence?  The biggest influence so far has been my coach Jody Kent with the Tamworth Netball Association. I’m grateful for all the time and effort she has put into my game.