In August this year, the NSW Swifts and Giants Netball announced plans to develop their own academies in a move to help boost pathways to the elite level of the sport, leading to the formation of the QBE Swifts Academy and the Giants Netball Academy.
Since the announcement, the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), Netball NSW and Netball Australia have carefully considered options for how best to maximise the Institute’s ongoing support of the sport and, importantly, its current athletes. As a result, the decision was made to conclude operations of the existing netball program at the end of the year, meaning that from January 2020, netball athletes and coaching staff will no longer be embedded in an NSWIS training environment. Instead, the QBE Swifts Academy and Giants Netball Academy will commence operations of their own programs.
With the vast majority of scholarship holders selected into an academy, NSWIS and the respective academies will work closely with athletes to ensure a smooth transition to the new programs. Likewise, for any athletes not selected, the Institute will develop a specific transition plan for 2020.
The new academies provide an exciting opportunity for the sport and NSWIS remains committed to working closely with Netball NSW and Netball Australia in the development of these academy programs, as a pathway for athletes to become future Australian Diamonds.
Netball has been a prominent NSWIS sport throughout its history and will continue to be supported via the new academy structure commencing in January 2020.