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.
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.
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