For Narellan Vale’s Abbey Finlay, spring usually means one thing: netball.
This is also the time when the South West Sydney Academy of Sport netball team travels to the country to compete in the Regional Academy Challenge.
But instead, Finlay traded netball for a laptop for weekly online training and support. The sprint, the quick change of direction and the overtaking drills are underway in his cleaned garage. SWSAS has also run online nutrition sessions for its athletes and recently hosted a cooking workshop run by Sydney West Sports Medicine and Kelsey Hutton, registered dietitian for Parramatta Eels.
“It was great to have new ideas and to learn more about the importance of nutrition as an athlete,” said Finlay, who added that his favorite recipe from the workshop was the bowl. burrito.
“The Academy helped me during the lockdown, hosting online ‘Zoom sports education meetings’ for nutrition and a ‘mental health check’ with the guy[lain]’which have been really beneficial.
“The Academy has provided me with a lot more knowledge not only about the skills of playing netball, but the behind the scenes work like recovery and leadership. I can’t wait to get back to netball and meet some friends when we can. all get back into it. “
In addition to learning about nutritional requirements and options to help improve athletic performance, Finlay – and his fellow netball athletes – also took part in Netball NSW’s online Netfit Academy Challenge. Finlay won the Academy’s Netball Program Coaches Award for 2021, which was featured in an online presentation in late August.
“Our team also ran weekly online breakout meetings where we do strength and conditioning, wellness talks, and our coaches challenged us to keep us all connected during the lockdown,” she declared.
The academy is hoping that nominations for all of its 2022 sports programs can be released in early October, with trials due in late November.