Talent pathway program established for young Pilbara athletes

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The first crop of athletes selected for the Pilbara Sports Academy with their coaches.
Camera IconThe first crop of athletes selected for the Pilbara Sports Academy with their coaches. Credit: Shannon Beattie

The Pilbara’s most promising young sports stars will be given a leg-up in their journey to becoming pro athletes with the creation of a talent pathway program.

The Pilbara Sports Academy is being run by V Swans and funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries with the aim of giving young athletes a head start in their sporting careers.

The program is headed by two-time Olympic hockey gold medallist Kate Starre, who believes most really great athletes come from the country. “A lot of kids who reach the highest levels of sport have a regional background but they are disadvantaged in terms of resources and knowledge,” she said.

“We’re trying to bridge that gap and take care of the kids that are awesome, to see just how good they can be.”

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The initial program will go for six months and mainly focus on strength and conditioning while also touching on nutrition, well-being, psychological resilience and what it’s like to be an elite athlete.

The first group of athletes, all from Karratha, were inducted into the PSA last week, with 11 young people from a vast array of sports taking up the challenge.

Basketball player, 16-year-old Jaksen Crowe-St Jack said he was approached by his coaches to join the PSA after State and country championship trainings.

“I want to be a more dominant athlete, to be stronger, quicker and more agile,” he said.

“This program will be a massive help through the gym and pool access, plus all of the facilities, training and nutrition guides.”

Further athletes will be inducted into the PSA in the future based on consultation with State sporting associations, regional sporting associations and local accredited coaches.

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