We have often spoken of the real values attached to sport and those espoused by the IAS. Integrity, citizenship, self-determination and motivation are some of the cornerstone words used to help build effective leaders in our community. And there is no greater time than now where we are all individually and collectively asked to stand by those values. The world’s response to the COVID-19 virus and the necessity to place our sporting pursuits to the background so that people’s lives are not at risk is a noble task but one that challenges our foundational values. It doesn’t mean we stop – but it does mean that we face the challenges of the world and meet them as best as we are able. The IAS family will work as hard as we are able to support each other and lead through example in maintaining a high quality service to the athletes of 2019-20.

So, amidst this challenge we have generated a host of activities that will be delivered in a unique environment and will enable each one of us to be proud to be part of the Illawarra Academy of Sport and the broader Regional Academy network in NSW.

Commencing the week of 30 March, Mitch Nielsen our Physical Performance Coach will send the first of a series of body-weight exercises for each athlete in the IAS where a video with commentary will be provided to display the exercise. The first webinar in the Sports Psychology suite will be rolled out on Tuesday 31 March with David Barracosa and in a regional academy first, will be opened up to all athletes in each of the 11 Regional Academies of Sport. Each coach will be developing and videoing a series of skills progressions that can be undertaken remotely. Lonestar athletes will have specific access to a well-being App. Our social media pages will host a variety of new content, including workout challenges, nutrition informations, live sessions, athlete take overs and Q&As. Keep an eye on our social media pages to see there is #nostoppingIAS athletes whilst they #stayhome! Sponsors will be provided the unique opportunity to access athlete’s stories and athletes will be provided opportunity to have closer interaction with specific sectors of the community through Zoom and FaceTime discussions. The Clubs NSW Athlete Education programs will be provided on a continual and ongoing basis.

We will not stop in our pursuit to provide the highest quality service available to athlete in these difficult times – we will just do it in a different way and in a manner that will place our athletes in a prime position to be strong in character, mind, sprit and physical prowess once we, as a community, defeat the corona virus. And we ask our supporters – the councils, sponsors, community partners and parents – to assist us in ensuring that our values shine through to the rest of the Illawarra Community.

Whilst a great majority of events and functions are indefinitely cancelled, this will provide a great opportunity to do things differently – and we need everyone’s support to do so.

This major setback isn’t a reason for us to stop, it’s time for us to stand up and keep working hard to be better athletes and people #nostoppingIAS

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