Teens tee off on course for academy

July 14, 2017

Ben Patten, Blair Christie (16), Courtney Loader (16), Aaron Loader (14) and Richard Caiolfa during the Bendigo Academy of Sport training session at Rich River Golf Club.

THREE Echuca Secondary College students were at Rich River Golf Club yesterday as part of the Bendigo Academy of Sport (BAS) program.

Blair Christie (16), Courtney Loader (16) and Aaron Loader (14) were selected into the 12-month long program two months ago based on their potential.

Golf Victoria handicaps and performances at school, regional and state-based events were contributors in the selection process.

The program for ages 12-18 not only focuses on improving the students golfing ability, it also emphasises areas of nutrition, injury management, sports psychology, integrity in sport, social media and bullying.

The day at Rich River was one of nine sessions to be held throughout the year and included a three-hour training session with two professional golfers, a drugs in sport seminar and a nine-hole round of golf in the afternoon.

The character-building program included five other students from the Bendigo area and one from Mooroopna and provided several benefits whether participants chose to pursue a career in the sport or not.

BAS executive officer Graham Gordon said each participant would get something different from the program.

‘‘Some students get a lot from the musculoskeletal screenings in identifying potential areas for injury,’’ he said.

‘‘For others it’s a pathway into Golf Victoria to then progress higher in the sport.’’

It was the Echuca students’ first year in the program. Some students have spent years in the system and a lot depends on the sport they played as to how long they would be involved with the academy.

‘‘We currently have six full sports programs and several individual athletes who compete in sports outside those six,’’ Gordon said.

‘‘Two students in our golf program are in their third year and some will spend just 12 months in the program.

‘‘There’s a big focus on students transitioning between sports though and staying with us that way.’’

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