The Australian Hockeyroos have earned a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games following a 2-0 series win over Russia late last year.
It will be our national hockey team’s 11th consecutive Olympic Games appearance.
And if former South West Sydney Academy of Sport (SWSAS) athlete Emily Chalker (Smith) wins Hockeyroos selection and is on the plane to Tokyo she will have the opportunity to become a triple Olympian at the age of 28.
If she does, the whole of South West Sydney region will be barracking for the hockey star who has chalked up more than 240 games and 80 goals for Australia.
The academy also has high hopes of being represented in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, with wheelchair basketballer Jess Cronje carrying the hopes and best wishes of SWSAS.
Since its inception in 1997, our very own sport academy has supported the development of 21 Olympians and two Paralympians.
But this is the results top end of the work done by the team at the academy, says CEO Gerry Knights.
“Our day to day business is supporting the youth of our region in the development of their sport and community citizen skills,’’ Mr Knights said.
“As with every aspect of the academy’s delivery, its service continues to be measured, looking for areas of improvement and increased growth.’’
The social, community and economic value of the academy, along with the value of all other independent NSW regional academies, has been assessed by a highly qualified independent leader in sport management assessment, the Institute of Sport.
Knights says he could not be more pleased with the results.
The academy currently services 207 athletes, a near 50 – 50 split between girls and boys, the majority aged between 13 and 18 years, across 10 sports.
Mr Knights says “the most pleasing result from the assessment identifies the academy as contributing $2.9m to the NSW economy annually and has an economic and social value of 328 percent cost benefit return, which is amazing’’.
“This feat has only been achieved due to the support of our 71 coaches and volunteers, who combined have provided more than 9,000 volunteer hours in 2019.
“Keeping the balance between being a good corporate community organisation and supporting the development of tomorrow’s sporting heroes is easy when you recognise the quality of people who support the academy in so many ways,’’ he said.
For information on the academy go to www.swsas.org.au or call 46 277622