The regional academy format was pioneered in the Illawarra in 1985 with a vision to provide opportunities, services and programs for high achieving athletes to achieve excellence. This format has now been adapted across the state and overseas.
Each program is uniquely designed specifically for the sport. The programs all aim to enrich the full potential of each athlete wishing to expand their sporting careers and provide them with the tools and skills to do so. For 2020/21 the IAS has offered over 300 scholarships covering over 25 sports, across 13 programs, including AFL Girls, Athletes with a Disability, Basketball, Cycling, Hockey, Golf, Lonestar, Netball, Netball Umpires, Rugby Union, Swimming, Triathlon and Volleyball.
The strength of the Illawarra Academy of Sport (IAS) in delivering services to athletes has always been its strategic alliances and partnerships with the local community. From Illawarra business, local governments, sporting associations at regional and state level and support of the University of Wollongong and the team of more than fifty volunteers who guide the talented youth of the Illawarra region. The IAS is now one of the strongest regional sporting academies in New South Wales.