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Regional pathways program takes off in Ceduna

27 September 2016

A regional sport pilot program to develop local coaches, community capacity and young athletes is taking off in Ceduna.

The pilot program funded by the Office of Recreation and Sport (ORS) with contributions from the Ceduna local community was developed to give South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) Talent Search identified athletes the opportunity to develop their sporting talent in Ceduna.

Karen Fuller, Manager of Community Participation at ORS said the distance of Ceduna to Adelaide has meant that it has been difficult in the past for students to access and take up opportunities such as SASI sports scholarships, SASI Talent ID Squads or State Sporting Association Development Programs.

"The Regional Pathways Program in Ceduna has been developed over the last six months in partnership with the Ceduna community including the establishment of a framework, local committee and plan.

"The formal pilot officially commenced on 1 July, 2016 with more than 20 young people aged between 13 and 17 identified through the SASI Talent Search in Schools testing.

These students have been invited to be part of the newly formed Far West Sports Academy, with the opportunity to develop athletic development awareness including strength and conditioning skills and technique improvement. The athletes and coaches will also have the opportunity to access information and support in relation to resilience, nutrition, planning and goal setting," said Ms Fuller.

Thomas Michalanney, a 14 year old local Ceduna student, was one of the first to have success after being talent identified for cycling.

Thomas said, "It all started out with my PE co-ordinator Mrs Spry organising for SASI testing at school, I then got a chance to participate in a second round of testing with SASI staff in Ceduna and finally I was invited to Adelaide for advanced SASI testing.

"I actually didn’t make the SASI cycling program, but I was still able to take part in some early sessions of the strength and conditioning program in Ceduna.

"I was then invited to have a try out for the Cycling South Australia State Development squad and was selected.

"I have since moved to Adelaide with my family and attend training sessions two times a week with this squad facilitated by Cycling SA coordinator Susan Bassett, which has been a great experience for me so far.

"I am learning a lot about the different types of cycling races and tactics involved and have had the chance to race in some competitions while making some great new friends.

"I feel really lucky that I got the opportunity to participate in the SASI Talent Search in Schools Program and the start of the Regional Pathways Program in Ceduna," said Thomas.

Thomas recently won the Cycling South Australia series for his age group.

Karen Fuller, Manager of Community Participation at ORS said the Regional Pathways Pilot program in Ceduna will run for at least the next two years with the possibility of elements being transferred to other regions in the future.