The first leg of the 2019 National Primary Games has been launched with a dynamic dismount.
Well over 150 young athletes from around NSW descended into Tamworth a fortnight early for the Gymnastics component of the Games.
Due to a conflict with the Gymnastics NSW Country Championships, this component of the NPG was brought forward to avoid any clash and it worked a charm.
Even with a busy calendar the young athletes turned up in droves for the grassroots event.
Australian Olympian Stephanie Magiros spent most of the day with the young athletes, teaching them some skills and tricks she's picked up, talking about her experiences at the Winter Olympics and just providing some inspiration for the competitors.
Now, it is time for the main component of the National Primary Games to kick off on the 20th and 21st of July.
The Opening Ceremony will be held at the Tamworth Sports dome on Saturday morning from 8am. The games will then start from 9.30am at sporting fields around Tamworth.
The Netball will be held out at the Tamworth Sports Dome, the Football (soccer) will be at the Gipps St Fields, Rugby League will be at the Plain St fields and the Tennis at the East Tamworth Tennis Courts.
The three Australian Olympians that will be attending the National Primary Games are home grown talent, Gemma Etheridge who won Gold with the Australian Women's Rugby 7s team at the Rio Olympics. Anneliese Rubie is a 400m runner and relay runner who has competed at three World Championships, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics. The fourth Olympian to join the NPG in 2019 is Ella Nelson, an up-and-coming sprinter who missed the final of the 200m at Rio by 100th of a second and finished 9th .
The NPG for NIAS is all about profile, profiling our Academy and what we do, exposing NIAS to children within our region in the hope that they're an Academy athlete of the future.James Cooper
Over 2300 athletes have registered for the Games, a steady increase on last year's numbers with a 40% increase in football alone and another strong web of teams coming from outside the region the event looks to be solidifying itself in the region in just it's fifth year.
The NPG has also included Wheelchair Basketball in 2019, in partnership with Wheelchair Sports NSW, featuring a "come-and-try" component for the general public to try-out wheelchair basketball and get an understanding of what the sport is like for these athletes.
NIAS CEO James Cooper says, "we're truly humbled to have such a great investment in the NPG. Year on year now this event has experienced growth and the most pleasing aspect is that we have teams who have been involved with us for five years".
The National Primary Games sees team come from Brisbane to Sydney, through the Central Coast and out past Dubbo. Following the Tamworth Regional Council's tourism equation, the event was found to attract a value of $2.3 million to the local Tamworth economy.
James Cooper says "The NPG for NIAS is all about profile, profiling our Academy and what we do, exposing NIAS to children within our region in the hope that they're an Academy athlete of the future and profiling the beautiful city of Tamworth to families from across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia".
NIAS Athlete Profile
Name: Maggie Holliday
How long have you been involved with NIAS: I've been competing for around 6-7 years, but this is
my first year in the NIAS program.
What are your goals in hockey: I want to be able to develop and improve my ball skills, as well as
my speed and agility around the field.
Highest achievement: For school, we compete in the Independent Girls' Schools Sporting
Association. In 2017 we won the title and in 2015-16 we were second.
Hero: Former Wallaby George Gregan.
Biggest influence: Regional Coaching Coordinator for Hockey NSW, Greg Doolan.