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:
- Ongoing personal and group sessions with a local pro over the entirety of the program.
- 5 tournament entry fees are covered across the year (athlete specific).
- 4 Development Camps (Each camp combines on-course activities with sport science and personal development activities off the court).
- Golf Victoria tournament support at identified Junior and Senior Tour tournaments.
- Inter-Academy Challenge involving coaching, competition and other activities with all other Victorian Regional Academies (TBC).
- Golf Victoria High Performance Training Day.
- IAP Musculoskeletal Screening – with a qualified Physiotherapist to guide all future development.
- Year Long Weekly Strength & Conditioning Sessions – with a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach* (*please note all our strength and conditioning coaches hold an Exercise Science Degree).
- Injury Prevention & Recovery, Support and Education – designed and delivered by industry experts.
- Sports Psychology Sessions – with a qualified Sports Psychologist.
- Skill Development Assistance – with qualified Coaches.
- 12 month Gym membership – for athlete’s free and personal use to support their athletic pursuits.
- Sports Science Testing & Education – including; speed, agility, stability, power, & further sport specific tests.
- Personal Development & Education – including; Leadership, Supportive Athletic Routine, Self-Awareness, Problem Solving, Effective Time Management.
- Professional Development & Education – including; Sports Nutrition, Physical Literacy, Effective Communication, Self-Marketing & Branding, Media Training· ‘
- Ongoing Access to SWAS’s Medical Support Network – as trusted and recommended by SWAS.
- Professional Certification Opportunities – i.e. First Aid Certificate, Online Education Platforms: Sport Relevant, etc.
Athlete Wellness Monitoring – supporting and monitoring athlete’s daily professional physical load and personal mental wellbeing in aid of daily health management and crisis aversion and identification.
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 2020 to December 2020. The timeline for the selection process is outlined below:
- Closing date for applications 20 January 2020 (COB)
- Assessment of applications 29 January 2020
- Notification of application outcome to athletes by 3 February 2020
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.
- Individual scholarships are only available to athletes in sports where SWAS does not host a squad program. In 2020 SWAS has partnered squad programs with the following sports: Clay Target Shooting, Cycling, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Tennis and Surfing.
Selection Guidelines and Procedures
The SWAS Individual Athlete Program has a limited number of programs available each calendar year. For the 2020 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 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 2020.
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 2020 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.