The South West Academy of Sport (SWAS) is a not-for-profit organisation which became an incorporated association in 2000 and started its operation in September 2004. The Academy covers the South West region of Victoria, incorporating the Corangamite Shire, Glenelg Shire, Moyne Shire, Warrnambool City and the Shire of the Southern Grampians.
Regional athletes face some greater challenges than their metropolitan counterparts due to their geographic location. Funding has been sourced from the State Government through the Victorian Institute of Sport, Local Government and commercial sponsors. As a result, the athlete programs are able to be run with a significant subsidy.
SWAS provides tangible support for talented athletes to access pathways and learn all aspects of training and become leaders in their community as they strive to reach sporting excellence.
SWAS provides a range of performance services for supported talented athletes including:
- Intensive training by high quality coaches
- Technical Skill development
- Development camps
- Strength and conditioning programs, support and advice (including functional movement screening)
- Access to myAISbasecamp an Australian Institute of Sport athlete development and support program
- Sports science testing and education
- SWAS uniform
- Personal Development workshops such as Nutrition, Sports Psychology, Media training and Recovery
- Access to a medical support network.
In sports where SWAS does not have a partnered squad program, athletes may apply for the Individual Athlete Program. The Individual Athlete Program supports talented athletes from a variety of Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic (Commonwealth Games) sports.
The scholarship period for the Individual Athlete Program will run from February 2019 to January 2020. The timeline for the selection process is outlined below:
- Closing date for applications 18 January 2019 (COB)
- Assessment of applications January 2019
- Notification of application outcome to athletes by February 2019
Who is eligible for assistance?
- Assistance is only available to those athletes who are registered with a recognised Victorian sporting organisation or peak club in the absence of a specific sporting organisation.
- Applicants must be Australian Citizens.
- Individual scholarships are only available to athletes in sports where SWAS does not host a squad program. In 2019 SWAS has partnered squad programs with the following sports: Clay Target Shooting, Cycling, Golf, Netball, Tennis, Surfing and Soccer.
Selection Guidelines and Procedures
The SWAS Individual Athlete Program has a limited number of programs available each calendar year. For the 2019 program, it is anticipated that up to 20 individuals could be supported. SWAS has absolute discretion to select less or more of the notional number of individual scholarships if circumstances warrant.
Every effort will be made to confirm receipt of electronically submitted applications, however, due to a large number of applications generally received confirmation of receipt may not be possible.
The following selection guidelines will be used to assess each application on relative merit. Please note that the criteria outlined below should not be viewed in isolation as all selection guidelines will be taken into account.
- Capacity for SWAS to ‘make a difference’ to the athlete’s ongoing development.
- Capacity and willingness of the athlete to utilise SWAS services to enhance their athletic development.
- Other important criteria against which an application may be assessed include:
- The athlete’s performance and results over the past 2 years.
- Current/former SWAS scholarship athlete’s usage of SWAS services and commitment to developing as an elite athlete including their willingness to take direction from SWAS service staff and their personal coach/es. Communication with SWAS staff will also be assessed.
- Other assistance provided to the athlete from within the Victoria and nationally
In general no more than 4 athletes per sport will be awarded positions within the Individual Athlete Program.
- The selection committee will convene and review all applications and recommendations from the AAL in accordance with the selection guidelines. The selection committee may verify any statement of claims, rankings and performances with Coaches or High-Performance Managers and will be guided in their decision-making process bearing these discussions in mind.
- South West Academy of Sport will notify successful and/or unsuccessful athletes in February 2019.
Athlete Induction/Service Plans:
- Athletes nominated for the Individual Athlete Program will be required to complete a musculoskeletal screen prior to commencing their Academy program; details regarding the screen will be highlighted in their letter of offer.
- Planning meetings with successful athletes will occur in March 2019 and individual service plans agreed to. Athlete’s level of service access and support will be determined by the selection committee and the resources available through the program.