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Office of Sport

Emerging Athletes

In this section, we feature customised advice and helpful resources for emerging athletes of NSW to support their development and progression. 

Empowering an Athlete’s Mental Toolkit

Attending to a key action of the Future Champions strategy specific to empowering sport participants and athletes and all stakeholders who support them athletes (e.g., parents, coaches, sporting organisations, schools etc.), the NSW Office of Sport in collaboration with sport psychologist Fiona McCarthy, has recently developed a suite of practical resources to facilitate an athlete’s knowledge and application of key psychological skills and strategies to support them in and out of sport.

Masterclass webinar

Practical ways to facilitate an athlete’s knowledge and application, including key psychological skills and strategies to support them in and out of sport. 
Watch webinar

Helpful Information

If an athlete has been identified as an emerging talent within their sport, it is important that they understand the pathway, opportunities and support available to help them reach their sporting potential.  Every sport is different. Discuss the specific talent pathway for your sport with your club, regional and/or state sporting body.

State Sporting Organisations are the peak body for each sport in NSW. They provide links to affiliated clubs, regional associations and the national body (National Sporting Organisation). As an athlete progresses along the athlete pathway, your State Sporting Organisation becomes increasingly important. 

A wide range of development camps are available to talented athletes across NSW. Camps are conducted by a range of providers, including commercial operators and sporting organisations. It is recommended you check with your Regional or State Sporting Organisation for options.

Sport NSW is an independent member-based peak body representing NSW sport and the active recreation sector. Sport NSW was established in 1991 to provide a collective voice for sport to enhance its capacity to provide quality experiences for participants and volunteers. The mission of Sport NSW is to lead New South Wales sport in building connected, healthy and active communities. 

There are 11 Regional Academies of Sport across NSW that provide development programs to identified athletes. Once in an academy program, athletes have access to high level coaching plus a range of sport education and developmental programs. The sports each academy provides varies, so contact your local academy for more information:

  1. South West Sydney Academy of Sport (Campbelltown)
  2. Western Sydney Academy of Sport (Penrith)
  3. Central Coast (Mingara)
  4. Far West Academy of Sport (Warren)
  5. Hunter Academy of Sport (Newcastle)
  6. Illawarra Academy of Sport (Wollongong)
  7. North Coast Academy of Sport (Lismore)
  8. Northern Inland Academy of Sport (Tamworth)
  9. Southern Sports Academy (Wagga Wagga)
  10. South East Sports Academy
  11. Western Region Academy of Sport (Bathurst)

There are seven Sports High Schools in NSW that provide opportunities for students who have potential to reach the elite level in sport. The schools have flexible academic and sport programs that assist emerging athletes meet their training, competition and academic requirements. Contact each school for more information: 

  • Endeavour Sports High School
  • Hunter Sports High School
  • Matraville Sports High School
  • Westfield High School
  • The Hills Sports High School
  • Narrabeen Sports High School
  • Illawarra Sports High School

The NSW School network features a vibrant complement of public, private and independent schools that provide valuable developmental, coaching, education and wellbeing support and competitive opportunities to pre-elite athletes as well as delivering personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) to all of their students.

Competition and additional representative opportunities that may complement an athlete’s competition schedule are provided by the:

  • NSW Public School Sport Association and NSW Combined High School Sport Association
  • NSW Combined Independent Schools Sports Council, NSW Association of Independent Schools and the Independent Girls’ Schools Sport Association
  • Combined Catholic Colleges Sport Association.

Universities within NSW contribute in multiple ways to supporting sporting pathways functions. Universities assist sports to grow and develop in intelligence, by educating our administrators, coaches and practitioners through applied research and innovation to further understand sport as well as support the growth and progression of the industry. Universities support athletes themselves to learn and achieve in lives outside of sport as well as supporting athletes to play and compete in sport at university. Contact your University to find out more. 

UniSport Australia is the peak governing body of university sport in Australia and considers it their responsibility to create healthy, active, engaged and well-rounded university students. The organisation is committed to offering members quality events and programs as well as building high performance partnerships. UniSport advocates the Elite Athlete Friendly Education Program which supports Australia’s elite athletes to achieve academic excellence whilst also pursuing a sporting career.

NSWIS is an elite sporting organisation that supports NSW and NSW-based high-performance athletes and coaches to become the world’s best. NSWIS provides high-performance athlete programs, coaching and inter-disciplinary support services. As part of the national high-performance system, NSWIS plays a key role in supporting nationally categorised Australian athletes from the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games’ sports. 

Sport Australia offers individual athlete grants and scholarships

The Australian Sports Foundation offers individuals and/or organisations support to fundraise for: sporting equipment, upgrades to facilities, travel, training and coaching costs, development pathways and programs, injury/medical costs, and individual/team travel costs.

NSW Sporting Grants Summary (Sport NSW)

Resources and websites

Below are a series of resources and websites to guide and assist emerging athletes within NSW. We will be adding to this content over the next few months – so watch this space!

Tips for Emerging Athletes Infographic (PDF, 482.94 KB) (Office of Sport)

Beyond the Black Line (Swimming Australia & Australian Swimmers Assoc Inc.)


Black Dog Institute

Active Abilities Series (Sport NSW) 

How to Stay Positive (Professor Paul Wylleman – Athlete 365, International Olympic Committee)

Self-Regulate like a Champion! (NSW Office of Sport) COMING SOON!

Time blocking – an effective strategy (Athlete 365, International Olympic Committee)

12 ways to deal with the unexpected (Athlete 365, International Olympic Committee)

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Sleep Routine  (Dr Shona Halson)

How to Get a Great Night Sleep (Athlete 365, International Olympic Committee) 

Strategies for Injury Prevention (International Olympic Committee) 

Strategies for Injury Management (Sports Medicine Australia)

Nutrition (Australian Institute of Sport and Sports Dieticians Australia)

Food for your sport (Sport Dieticians Australia)

Hydration Guidelines (Sports Dieticians Australia)

Developing Your Personal Brand (International Olympic Committee) 

Olympians' Hub (Australian Olympic Committee) 

Athlete 365 (International Olympic Committee)

Drugs and Supplements in Sport (Sport Integrity Australia)

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