The Northern Inland Academy of Sport basketball squads headed off to Newcastle on Friday for this weekend’s Academy Games bouyed by the news that three players have been selected to represent NSW Country.
Girls squad members Samantha McCubbin and Anika Earsman and Connor Watt from the boys squad were this week named in the under-16 NSW Country sides to play at the National Championships on the Sunshine Coast in July.
NIAS coaching staff Greg O'Toole (program co-ordinator/mentor coach) and Matt Hobson (girl’s head coach) have also been appointed assistant coaches of the boys side.
The basketball squads have traditionally performed well at the Academy Games, and hopes are high for them this weekend.
Hockey is another sport NIAS has traditionally competed quite well in, NIAS Chief Executive Officer James Cooper said.
Both the boys and girls squads will participate in the Games along with the tennis, golf and netball squads.
The Academy’s seven AFL girls squad members will also team up with the Southern Sports Academy.
It is the first time women’s AFL has been included in the Games.
The focal point of their programs and highlight for many of the squads, Cooper said the weekend served a two-pronged role in the athletes’ development.
As well as being an opportunity to test themselves against their peers from other academies, it is a “weekend where they can put into practice everything they’ve learnt”.
Not only the skills they’ve learnt but also things like time management, nutrition, game preparation and recovery.
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