Funding boost welcomed by the Academy

The South West Academy of Sport’s efforts to nurture the development of tomorrow’s champions are being backed by the State Government, which has announced $235,000 over three years towards the not-for-profit organisation.

SWAS chief executive officer Bernice Butlion welcomed the new funding commitment, saying the financial assistance will help support families in the region with talented athletes wanting to develop in their chosen sport without having to relocate to Perth.

“The funding enables SWAS to continue to support athletes in the daily training environment through the provision of specialised support services such as medical, nutrition, life skills, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, mental health support and coaching support,” Butlion said.

“As an organisation, we have been given stability and can plan our programs for the next three years with this guaranteed funding support from the State Government.”

The funding is through the State Government’s Regional Athlete Support Program (RASP), which is assisting in the delivery of a high-quality daily training environment for regional athletes through the program’s Regional Talent Development Network (RTDN) and Regional Athlete Travel Subsidy Scheme (ATSS).

The RTDN comprises nine regional academies and sport talent networks across Western Australia.

Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti said the State Government is committed to increasing opportunities for regional athletes to excel in their chosen sports.

“Through funding programs such as this, we are giving regional athletes, coaches and officials access to top-quality training and development,” Minister Buti said.

“The 2021 grants have been distributed to nine RTDN academies, programs and networks, and I’m really excited to see the sporting talent coming out of these regions.”

SWAS has been assisting local athletes since 2008, when it was established to even the playing field between young sports men and women in the South West and their peers in the Perth metropolitan area.

By providing training, coaching and support services close to home, SWAS helps to relieve pressure on athletes and their families. High performance partner sports programs and an individual athlete program provide athletes with talent development opportunities.

SWAS athletes have gone on to compete at the highest representative levels including the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and the AFL.