Track sprint cyclist Luke Zaccaria offers advice

Aspiring athletes from the South West Academy of Sport are being given the opportunity to develop skills to help them become champions on and off the sports field.

The junior sports men and women earlier this month participated in the first in a series of personal development workshops designed to create well-rounded individuals capable of meeting the challenges of life as a high-performance athlete.

A partnership between the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the Western Australian Institute of Sport, the program aims to assist young talents to adopt healthy behaviours and positive decision-making.

Topics covered during the session at Bunbury’s Chamber House on February 11 included integrity in sport, managing change, and performing in life and sport.

SWAS chief executive officer Bernice Butlion said it was a great chance for the academy’s young athletes to further develop life skills, with track sprint cyclist Luke Zaccaria on hand to offer tips to participants.

“At SWAS, we want our athletes to develop long and rewarding careers in sport,” she said.

“One way we do this is by providing athletes with access to a variety of support services, as well as programs such as Developing Champions.

“We look forward to equipping athletes with more tools for success through the next workshops in the Developing Champions series, the first of which will focus on communication and be followed by a session on nutrition.”

SWAS was established with the intention of levelling the playing field between athletes in the South West and their metropolitan peers by providing development opportunities in the region they call home.

It runs a variety of programs including in Australian Rules football, hockey and netball, as well as a golf squad and an individual athlete support program for those whose sports are not covered by the partner sport programs.