SWAS forms new partnership with WACA

The South West Academy of Sport has formed a new partnership with the Western Australian Cricket Association that is seeing the region’s next generation of potential cricket stars once again trained up in Bunbury.

Through the resurrected SWAS high-performance program, exciting young batters and bowlers are being given the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and develop their knowledge of the game on home-ground, reducing the need to travel to Perth.

SWAS chief executive officer Bernice Butlion said the organisation identified the need to once again have a dedicated program for cricket after supporting five athletes in its Individual Athlete Support Program last year.

“As a result, we started talking to the WACA again to create a dedicated program that would provide young athletes in the South West with the same opportunities as their peers in the metro area,” Butlion said.

“We want to give our athletes opportunities to excel at a State level through skills development and coaching, giving them the edge as they work their way through cricket’s ranks.”

Helping the young guns on their pathway to higher representative levels is coach Shawn Gillies who has first-hand experience to share with the young hopefuls, having played first class games for the Western Warriors.

Gillies said he is impressed with the talented athletes he is training twice a week for SWAS, with some of the players also benefiting from being part of WACA development squads.

“We’ve got a mix of raw natural talent and some guys who have been in development squads before,” Gillies said.

“There’s lots of natural talent here in the South West.”

SWAS has previously assisted the journeys of WA cricket greats such as Sam Whiteman and Chloe Piparo.