Regional Academy Launch
MNNSW have today announced a partnership with South West Sydney Academy of Sport to launch its first regional academy for boys, filling yet another participation stage gap as they bolster their pathway to be all inclusive for boys of any age. The program replicates the concept state bodies have offered female athletes for several years, and is the first step up the pathway from local competitions.
It will introduce athletes to strength and conditioning routines, as well as building out basic skilling into intermediate skill base that prepares them for future steps in the men’s pathway. The program will target boys between the ages of 12 and 16, filling another stage of the men’s pathway that has previously been unaddressed.
“Our goal is to give every boys and men’s participant a program to engage in at all ages. Our mature age opportunities continue to grow in recent years, but it was the younger teenage bracket where we felt underdone where the boys age out of local competitions and are left with nothing. Our Junior MLeague was one step, now this academy product is yet another opportunity.” McCabe said.
Whilst the launch program will run from South West Sydney as a pilot, MNNSW has plans to replicate the model in further growth regions for men’s netball. “Our first academy will be about refining the program before we go bigger. But we want to find and work with partners in other growth regions. This could be associations keen to grow in the men’s category, or sporting institutes who want to jump onboard our emerging version of the sport. We are open for business and want to find partners who see this as the growth category it is.” McCabe said.
This latest announcement comes at a crucial time for men’s netball, with media personalities such as Liz Ellis citing a men’s product as critical to the sport being considered for the Olympic Games. It was widely known that Netball’s last attempts at Olympic Games selection failed due to its lack of elite men’s product, calling on the netball community to build its base for men.
“Pandemic aside, this period has been the most exciting growth period for men’s netball. Our participation rates are 30% up, we continue to work closely with both NNSW and Associations who are identifying men’s as a growth segment and there is talk about elite products with national bodies for the first time. We are doing our part by building the grassroots pathway so when it comes time to showcase our sports being ready for bigger stages, we can show an all-inclusive pathway for boys and men.” McCabe said
Applicants wishing to participate are encouraged to go to the South West Sydney Academy of Sport website for more information.