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Academy athletes competing in National Games

Several Ballarat athletes will next week converge on Melbourne, along with 1000 other athletes from across the country, as they compete in the 2014 Special Olympics National Games.


Over 1000 athletes will be competing across 16 sports in the week long event commencing Monday 20 October, with competitors aiming to qualify for selection for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, America in 2015.

These games are held every 4 years, with the last games in Adelaide, South Australia. The last time Melbourne hosted the games was in 1990.

Competitors, coaches and officials will participate in an Opening and Closing ceremony at the beginning and conclusion of the Games, held at Olympic Park and Luna Park respectively.


Marion McKenzie will be competing as part of the Victorian Equestrian team at the National Equestrian Centre in Werribee. McKenzie will compete in 4 events over two days; the Level 1 English equitation; Dressage; Le Trec and Prix Caprilli.

Madee Townsend and Keziah Glenane will be swimming at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), with Townsend in the 50m and 100m freestyle; 50m backstroke and the 4 x 50m medley relay.
Glenane will be competing in the 100m and 200m freestyle and the 100m and 200m backstroke.

Kellie Hughes will be competing in the ten-pin bowling at the WynCity Bowling and Entertainment complex in Point Cook.
Fran Wellard is competing in the A grade basketball at MSAC.


All athletes are members of the WestVic Academy of Sport: Special Olympics Ballarat program, and gain access to a musculoskeletal screening and weekly Strength and Conditioning coaching and Nutritional advice tailored to their specific needs.

WestVic Academy of Sport Manager of Sports Programs Kelly Dunn congratulated the athletes on their inclusion in the Games, and wishes them all the best.
“To have 5 athletes from Ballarat competing in National Games is a fantastic achievement, and something that we are incredibly proud of. We wish all the athletes all the best, and have every confidence in them to bring home some medals from their respective sports”.


For further information, please contact Academy Executive Officer Rob Ward on 0417 044 419, or visit the WestVic Academy of Sport website at


Academy launches Athlete Recruitment Drive

A recruitment drive targeting the region's best young athletes - regardless of their sport of choice - was launched this week by the FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport.

The regional sporting academy has opened its 2015 professional sporting services program for developing athletes to competitors in sports not traditionally aligned to the academy.

The key to the expansion is the academy's "Individual Athlete Membership" scheme. The scheme provides an opportunity for individual athletes to tailor their package of services to complement any coaching and other support already in place within their own sport.

WVAS executive officer Rob Ward said the recruitment drive was an important initiative for the not-for-profit service provider. "We are here to focus on providing what's not already in place for athletes to give them a better opportunity to develop and progress within their sport," Mr Ward said. "We want to work with the people, organisations and athletes who are already part of our program, and those we identify as meeting our criteria, to provide the services we can, as conveniently and effectively as we can."

Mr Ward said the recruitment drive was open to any athlete wishing to be the best they can; whether they are athletes already competing in state championships, identified as potential future stars, or athletes wanting to be the best performer they can within local competition. He said athletes looking to join WestVic through the recruitment drive should contact the academy directly to learn more around the process from inquiry to induction as a new member.

"We are delighted to field all inquiries in the early stages of the recruitment drive and explain the specific processes around application, interview and selection at that point," Mr Ward said. "We want to be upfront and say that while we are very keen to take all inquiries and add many new athletes into our organisation. At the same time we do have some limits to our capacity."

Success stories from the scheme include three-time Australian representative in hammer throw Emma Werner, and state and national championship runner-up gymnast Hudson Irwin. Each of these athletes complements their technical coaching with WestVic-provided services such as sport psychology workshops, nutrition consultations, physical screenings and strength and conditioning programming.


Membership Overview

The WestVic Academy of Sport (WVAS) Individual Membership Program is available to athletes from Western Victoria; and aims to provide services to these athletes that focus on providing what’s not already in place for athletes which could be in place to give them a better opportunity to develop and progress - working with athletes and their supporters to deliver these specialist services to help them succeed. Such services include: sport science such as physical screening, fitness testing and technique analysis; strength and conditioning programming; nutrition consultations, psychology workshops and other personal development opportunities.


The structure of the WVAS’ Individual Membership Program has been designed to be flexible around when the athlete can access the services listed earlier, and in fact which services and to what volume they are necessary in order to only complement and add to existing support for the athlete. The priority is to have only the services necessary for the athlete, and have the timing of service delivery done to be of most benefit to the athlete’s development, performance and progress along their pathway. The Academy’s Management Team will work with the Athlete and existing Coaches/Support Personnel ongoing to negotiate services necessary to achieve goals and organise their delivery.


The cost of membership is variable, and is dependent on the services and volume required by each athlete.


Selection Criteria

Athletes wishing to join WVAS as Individual Members must show:

·         They already have a coach overseeing their on-field/sport specific training independent of the Academy (team coach for team sports accepted) – the assumption being that athletes wanting to be their best at any level of competition will already have some coaching, training and support structures in place.

·         Performances in competition will be considered. Results to be stated in application, and may be checked by WVAS.


Athlete testimonial – Emma Werner (Hammer Throw – Individual Members Program)

Emma Werner is a three-year FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport "Individual Memberships Program” Member. Emma has represented Australia in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Oceania Games, in the “Women’s Hammer throw”.

Being part of the Academy, Emma has access to Strength and Conditioning support through a Musculoskeletal Screening and then ongoing program prescription, Nutrition guidance, Sport Psychology consultation, and technique analysis.

With Emma’s coaching, she travels regularly to Melbourne and Hobart. There are no Hammer throw coaches locally making the Academy the only local part of her support Emma saying “they are amazing with all that they do for me”.


How to Become a Member

For more information and to be provided with an application form, contact Academy Office on:

5327-9890, 0417-044-419 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Holloway invited into Under 16 Junior Golf Squad

WestVic Academy of Sport Golf program member, Bailey Holloway has been invited into the Under 16 Junior Squad.

Based on his recent efforts at the Boys and Girls Championships last week, the Golf Victoria Junior and High Performance team have invited him into the Under 16 Junior Squad. Bailey will now be exposed to tuition from Golf Victoria's State Coaches at all sessions, with the first on Saturday 15 November at Sandhurst Golf Course.

Congratulations to Bailey on this achievement!


Hennessy claims Silver at Oceania Championships

WestVic Academy of Sport athlete Joel Hennessy is the current Silver medallist at the Oceania Karate Championships.
Held in Suva, Fiji, Hennessy fought hard in the Gold medal bout, only to go down 0-1.
On his way to the final, he defeated his opponent from Papua New Guinea 13-5 and his New Zealand opponent 5-1.


Hennessy has had a busy few months recently, competing at the Australian Karate Federation National Championships in Perth; the South Australian Championships and the Karate Australian Open in Sydney.

He returned from South Australia with a gold medal and the title of South Australian Champion; brought home Silver from the Sydney championships; and unfortunately returned without a medal from Perth due to injury hampering his participation.


Hennessy is a student at Bacchus Marsh Grammar (BMG), and is part of their Elite Sport Program. WestVic Academy of Sport has partnered up with BMG this year in order to delivery additional services to these elite athletes, in order to complement their current training schedules. Strength and conditioning training, sport specific Nutrition sessions, and Sports Psychology sessions are all available to these athletes as members of the Elite Sport Program with BMG and WestVic Academy of Sport.


His lead up to these Championships were slightly disrupted by an injured foot, however Hennessy fought through the pain, and is now reaping the reward.
A rest is now on the cards for Hennessy, before he resumes his training schedule and prepares for upcoming competitions.


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