NIAS at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games
Across the 16th - 18th April the Northern Inland Academy of Sport travelled to Newcastle for the 2021 Your Local Club Acdademy Games. With the South Tamworth Bowling Club supporting our athletes, the Academy sent almost 80 athletes to compete in this year's Games. With the 2020 Games having been cancelled, it was a highly anticiapted event for the Academy and it's athletes - many of whom had not attended before due to the event cancellation last year. With the Games featuring six sports, NIAS sent squads in five of these sports including two netball squads, two basketball squads, two hockey squads, golfing athletes and a triathlete as well.
Competiton commenced on Friday afternoon for both NIAS hockey and basketball, followed by all other sports on Saturday morning. With some great results across the weekend, NIAS fought hard against the other Academies. The basketball girls suffered a loss against the North Coast Academy of Sport Friday evening before gaining their first win on Saturday morning against South West Sydney. The boys basketball squad remained undefeated until Sunday morning where they faced the Illawarra Academy of Sport in the semi final. Unfortunately Illawarra were too strong, and the NIAS basketball squad was knocked out.
The 2021 netball competition was held at Maitland, where NIAS had a team in both division 1 and division 2. With tough competition across the weekend, the netballers gained invaluable match play against the state's best netballers in the Academy system. Showing great sportsmanship and playing well as a team across the whole weekend, the girls had their final game Sunday afternoon at 2:50pm against South West Sydney Academy of Sport. Bria Wineti was named NIAS Most Valuable Player (MVP) for division 1, whilst Tarnee Ingram claimed the MVP vote for the NIAS division 2 team.
Golf and Triathlon:
Golf was played across two venues over the weekend. Saturday saw the golfers make their way to Salamandar Bay where they played at the Horizons Golf Club. With plenty of rain about, the proposed 18-hole competition had to be reduced to a 14-hole competition to ensure all athletes would finish. Sunday had much nicer conditions where almost 70 regional academy athletes competed at the Charlestown Golf Course. NIAS was represented by Matthew Reece, Oliver Thomas, Luke Devney, Rhys Devney and and Ryan McKinnon who all teed off before midday. NIAS sent Lauren Barnes to compete against over 80 other triathletes on Saturday and Sunday at Cams Wharf in Lake Macquarie. Draft legal races began on Saturday morning and finished by 4:45pm with more competition commencing in Sunday from 9:45am.
Over at Wyong, the Hockey was played over two and a half days of competiiton (with overcast conditions on Saturday). The NIAS hockey boys squad played their way into the grand final on Sunday afternoon. After hard competition over the previous two days against other regional Acaedemies, NIAS was to face Sydney Metro Academy in the Grand Final. Unfortunately, Metro scored two goals that NIAS were unable to replicate, however they walked away claiming silver for the Boys Hockey at the 2021 Academy Games!!