WSAS Athletics Program Overview
The Western Sydney Academy of Sport Track and Field program aims to cater for athletes located in the Blacktown, Hawkesbury,Penrith and Blue Mountains council regions * who demonstrate potential in Track and Field. The emphasis is on identifying and supporting talented boys and girls who have displayed ability near the National performance standard for their age.
** Athletes from other neighbouring councils are invited to contact us.
The Western Sydney Academy is part of a Talented Athlete Pathway structure that is Administered by NSW Department of Sport & Recreation and is partly funded by Western Sydney Local Government (Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Penrith and Hawkesbury Councils), Athletics New South Wales and is strongly endorsed by Athletics Australia.
Track and Field Program Objectives:
do we do?
The Academy arranges Development activities that supplement the Athletes individual training programs. They are planned in such a way so they should not interfere with the athletes training and racing programs.
Monthly Development activities - usually occur Saturday or Sunday afternoon. In many cases this has involved a theory presentation and an event group activity. At Blacktown Olympic Park this may involve the full range of training possibilities. There is a fantastic place for hill training and longer runs nearby. The practical part is an invaluable opportunity for the athletes and coaches in our area to do a training session with each other. Development activities are usually focused on the months May-Nov. In the main race season activities are very carefully chosen so that coaches,athletes and parents are not overloaded with a schedule that is too busy.
Special All Academy Activities- The Academy supports a large range of sports and arranges Full Academy activities eg Drugs in Sport Seminars and guest presentations by celebrities eg Herb Elliott.
Camps - Development Camps are planned and funded each year for the Talent Squad and occasionally we also hold camps for the whole Squad. These camps are an opportunity to learn and develop a large range of new skills for both athletes and coaches. In 2003 we will be taking the Talent Squad to the AIS.
Networking - The Academy will arrange networks of Coaches and athletes that can train together as often as suits their programs for the greater benefit of all of involved.
Recognition - We have a yearly presentation evening where we have a guest speaker and conduct a presentation that recognizes all the athletes achievements throughout the year in front of the coaches, athletes, friends,family and other community members.
Profile - We also have a distinctive WSAS Uniform that includes a Track-suit, Shorts, Collared Shirt and Training Shirt. Athletes can also purchase WSAS Backpacks and Training Bags.
what about the Academy poaching athletes from coaches?
The Academy is an organisation that plans to enhance coach education and provide greater support for the athletes of Western Sydney. The most common reason athletes usually have to leave their coach is that they believe they have outgrown their coaches experience and/or they are lacking a support network of athletes and friends.
Serious coaches must be involved in support networks so that they can grow and learn what is required to coach Senior National and International Level Athletes. The top Coaches in Australia are usually the most active in communicating with other coaches and have developed relationships that allow athletes from different squads to train together occasionally. The Academy provides this opportunity for the athletes of Western Sydney.
We totally support the committed Coach with their Athletes. Coaches are expected to be involved in our activities with their athletes. The Academy is the best way for any serious Western Sydney coach to rapidly learn what is required. We have a large range of resources to share and are very keen to assist other coaches in their development.
When the Academy functions really well it will create a situation where Western Sydney Coaches will freely pass athletes on to Coaches that are clearly more suitable. Having the desire to do what is best for the athlete is critical for all coaches. eg A 100/200m Sprints coach identifies that someone should be in the 800m. or a High Jumper that is better suited to the 400 hurdles.
The Academy in 2003/4 there will be 5 groups of members
Development Squad, Associate
Squad, Senior Associates and Network
1. The Talent Squad is comprized athletes that have qualified on a performance basis that indicates they are on the path to possible representation at World Youth, World Junior and/or World University Championships.
The Academy Talent Squad aims to assist athletes to qualify for the New South Wales Institute of Sport Athletics Program.
Athletes who qualify for
the Talent Squad can be added at any time throughout the year when they reach
the standard in a recognized meet.
In 2003 there will be Camp to the AIS just for Talent Squad members. This camp is usually fully funded by the WSAS.
Academy Talent Squad
– Note - For Talent qualification Athletes need to be under the Age on the Day of the qualifying competition.
All performances must be verifiable.
* In some events times
need to use electronic timing and have legal wind readings.
Women U17 ,U18 ,U19/Senior ,World Junior Qualifying
12.56 12.35 12.14 11.84
11.18 11.03 10.98 10.74
Athletes can also qualify by winning a medal in any of the above listed events at the Australian Youth U18, Australian Junior U20, Australian All-Schools U18, U20 or Australian Race Walks or Australian XC events in a minimum of an U17 age group event.
All other events will be assessed on Merit on a case by case basis. The above events are all now very similar in quality across events. They were compared using the Mercier Points Score Table.
We are committed to making
sure Senior Athletes who have already been members of the WSAS Talent Squad
are retained in the sport and progress to reach their potential. These athletes
will continue to be full members of the program as long as they continue to
perform at a level that exceeds the U19 Talent Squad standards.
2. The Development Squad is comprized of athletes who are competing in the U16 , U18 and U20 age groups. AA follows the IAAF age ruling that the age is taken as the age the athlete turns that year. eg In 2003 U16 are born 1988 or later, U18 born 1986 or later, U20 born 1984 or later.
Performances need to be in legal conditions in a certified meet.
Athletes need to qualify based on the Athletics Australia Standards in either U16, U18 , U20 or Open. (The U14 Standard is not accepted for entry into the Development Squad) The standards are outlined below
Female AA National Standards
Male AA National Standards
All athletes will need to reach the above standards in the period September 1st 2002 to the present date (See Associate Squad information if the athlete has not reached this standard yet)
Current Scholarship holders that have reached the above standards will need in addition to have shown a strong commitment to the Academy Program in 2002 and to their own Training to be offered a scholarship in 2003/2004.
Other considerations include potential to improve and attitude.
The next round of activities will be starting in Aug, 2003.
3. The Associate Squad (Talent ID)
There will be a limited
number of Associate Scholarships offered to athletes that are Talent identified.
Some of these athletes may be younger than the rest of the squad and show
great potential. Achievements that will help with their application are if
they have won a medal at the State Little Athletics or have been talent identified
by the Academy in a Development Meeting
or from attendance at a Talent Identication Day.
Athletes that want to apply for the Associate Squad need to contact Steve Bennett to setup a Development meeting. In this meeting the athlete will participate in an informal training session where the athlete will be assessed and information given to the coach/athlete/parents that may help with the athletes development. The athlete may be allocated a place in the next intake or will be allocated goals to achieve to qualify.
Find out about the next opportunity for a Development meeting by contacting Register your interest in the WSAS Development Squad All athletes should register their interest with us regardless of their standard or age. Then we will have your information on file and can monitor your progress regardless of your age. The Academy is happy to assist all keen athletes from our region to reach their potential and this includes assisting people to qualify for our program. Some activities we arrange we offer to all regional athletes that we have on our database. In the past this has happened when we have had special visits by Herb Elliott, Matt Shirvington, Staffan Strand (Swedish Olympic High Jumper) etc.
The next round of activities will be starting in Aug 2003.
Senior Athletes who exceed the U19 Talent Squad standards are welcome to register as Senior Associates and attend most Academy Activities. It is expected that they will be mentors for some of the younger athletes.
The Academy has a strong interest in helping Talented Seniors from the region to improve and qualify for involvement with the New South Wales Institute of Sport Program in addition to ours. Many of our guests and activities would be of great benefit to athletes at Senior National Standard and their coaches.
. The next round of activities will be starting during Aug 2003.
Coaches involved in the Academy
This year for the first time we are launching a formal coach enrichment program. The Western Sydney Academy of Sport Coaches Network aims to provide the following opportunities and benefits:
- Involvement with a group
of enthusiastic Coaches in your event group. This is a great way to learn
and share ideas.
- Access to a wide range Educational Resources for Coaches.
- Introduction to Level 3 Senior Coaches in your Event Group from the Sydney Region that you can communicate with for support.
- Educational Seminars on Topics related to your event group. Some will be with the Academy athletes and some just for Coaches.
- Support with the advancement of your formal accreditation with the ATFCA.
- an increase in professional opportunities with non-Track & Field sporting groups that may be established be secured by Coaches Network promotion.
- A unified Western Sydney voice from coaches that can benefit our athletes.
We are happy to provide mentors for all coaches regardless of your level of experience.
. The next round of activities will be starting during Aug 2003.
Academy Coaches 2002/2003
Level 2 Sprints Hurdles & Relays
Level 3 Middle Distance pending
Steve has developed a number of National Level athletes from 100 to 3000m including Debbie Savage 800m 2:03.14, Preya Carey 11.84, Alice Goodberg 56/2:05.40/4:21/9:38, Todd MacDonald 47.30/1:48.01, Aaron Macarthur 1:51 , Max Pedrana 10.84, Kate McMaster 2:06.73, Kate Gozzard 2:09 and others