The Stars of the Hills Shire Council honoured the latest batch of 15 youngsters who are a part of the acclaimed program organised annually by the Western Sydney Academy of Sport.
Hills Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi recently presented the athletes, aged between 13-18 years, with a Certificate of Achievement.
The athletes included Beth Abbot, Tahliah Harding, Zoe Wilmshurt (netball), Pyper Marchant, Andrew Gaitau, Bradley Patterson (rugby), Scarlet Proc (softball), Danielle Fleming, Nicola Fleming (BMX racing), Leila Dickson, Ella Dickson, Charlotte Hussein (triathlon), and Ella Hussain (cycling, triathlon). Robyn Winn, the triathlon coach, also attended the event.
The academy, established in 2004, has produced scores of sports stars, including multiple Olympian and world championship slalom canoe winner Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence (world champion in canoe slalom), Australian softballer Taylah Tsitsikronis, netball aces Paige Hadley and Kim Ravaillion, cycling champ Amanda Spratt, Paralympian cyclist Gordan Allan, current Penrith Panthers and NSW rugby league star Jerome Luai. The list goes on.
Mayor Gangemi said he was also pleased to see several Hills locals selected into academy programs.
“The WSAS is so beneficial to helping our talented young athletes to progress within their discipline, as well as providing them with quality coaching and training, he said.
“As our athletes move through the program, their personal growth and development also builds and transforms positively, which is especially important for preparing them for their future career, whether that be in sport or a different pursuit. I congratulate our athletes on their success, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future. WSAS CEO Martin Bullock said the council has been a strong advocate of their athletes and coaches since the academy’s inception in 2004.
“In that time, over 500 talented pre-elite level athletes have represented The Hills LGA, which is testament to the council’s focus on sport as a highly significant aspect of health and lifestyle,” Mr Bullock said.
The WSAS is a non-for-profit community-based organisation providing quality development training programs for talented young athletes across many sports. Their programs include technical and skill development, as well as being educational.
The Hills Shire is one of seven LGAs, including Hawkesbury, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Parramatta and Penrith, which make up WSAS’s catchment.