Sport / 14th December 2023
Kicking goals with FWAS
Local high school athletes are striving to pursue their sport dreams at the Far West Academy of Sport (FWAS), with some new recruits beginning their journey through training schemes on offer.
Local coach, Poi Birtles said several Coonabarabran High School students had put their hands up to try out for the Far West Academy, with many being successful in the under 15’s and under 17’s rugby league competitions for both boys and girls.
FWAS is a sports training and development academy for top pre-elite athletes in Far West NSW, delivering and nurturing high-performance sporting pathways for talented young athletes and coaches and enabling them to reach their highest sporting and personal honours.
“It’s great to see this happening with the children in our community, that they’re taking advantage of these opportunities,” Mrs Birtles said.
With many athletes having been selected for individual representative sides, Mrs Birtles explained how there was then no way for them to train regularly with their team.
So, these local athletes have been getting together for training at Coonabarabran’s number one oval, helping each other to build and develop their skills while also being connected within the community.
“Our athletes are experiencing new things and gaining an understanding of what a prepare-to-play program looks like, strength and conditioning, weights and the gym, and also how to be life fit – meaning, how to become strong-minded athletes who are connected within themselves and have that sense of self-worth.”
Mrs Birtles said this program allows aspiring athletes to build their skills to the next level, giving them a sense of preparedness should they decide to pursue a career in sport.
“In the first academy, they are rolling out the ‘Rise’ program, which is targeted at athletes who wish to pursue a career in the National Women’s Rugby League (NRLW) and the National Rugby League (NRL),” Mrs Birtles said.
“By participating in this program, it will give them an understanding of what is expected and how to conduct themselves in a high-performance space, which is the next level where you’ll see them playing on TV.”
With many of these aspiring athletes having recently attended a camp, Mrs Birtles said the students are already gaining an understanding of what the academy expects from each athlete and gaining important insights into what it takes to become a professional athlete.
Local athletes, pictured with coach, Poi Birtles, at training as a part of the Far West Academy of Sport.