Regional Academies of Sport Coaches Conference an Unparalleled Success
Southern Sports Academy coaches were provided with the opportunity to network and
further develop their knowledge and skills amongst the best in the state during a recent
conference aimed at giving back to the network.
Close to 130 regional coaches, administrators and staff came together at Mingara
Recreation Club, Tumbi Umbi, on May 8th for the inaugural 2022 Regional Academies of
Sport (RAS) Coaches Conference. This event was delivered as a ‘first’ for the RAS network,
an opportunity to upskill the coaches across NSW but also a chance to acknowledge and say
a very sincere thankyou to the many volunteer coaches who support the pre-elite athlete
pathway in NSW.
Hosted by the Central Coast Academy of Sport (CCAS), on behalf of the RAS network, the 1-
day conference bought together the best regional pre-elite coaches from all 11 RAS from
throughout New South Wales; Central Coast, Far West, Illawarra, Hunter, North Coast,
Northern Inland, South East, South West Sydney, Southern, Western Region and Western
Sydney Academies of Sport.
The stacked agenda included special guests; Brad Donald (Jilaroos Head Coach), Kerri
Pottharst OAM (Olympic Gold Medallist and Former Professional Beach Volleyballer), Paul
Smith (Sydney Kings Owner), Nicola McDermott and Matt Hornsell (Olympic High Jump
Silver Medallist and Head Coach), Stuart Leong (Golf Aus Director of Technology, Aus PGA
Coach of the Year), Kevin Thompson (NSWIS CEO), Brad McGee (NSWIS Head of Coaching),
Michael Scott (High Performance Administrator), Sean Eadie (NSWIS Cycling Coach), Adam
Kable (NSWIS Swim Coach), Spencer Goggin (NSWIS Strength and Conditioning), Sally
Walker (NSWIS Nutritionist), Jill McIntosh (Former Aus Diamonds Player and Head Coach).
The conference focused on the theme of Bound for Brisbane 2032. With the current crop of
RAS athletes in the average age bracket of future Olympians, they become a realistic chance
to compete in Brisbane 11 years from now. A strong decade long pathway with strong
working relationships with the Office of Sport, Australian and NSW Institute of Sports will be
vital to long term future success of the current cohort of RAS athletes. The coaches who
attended the conference are an integral component of readying these athletes for Brisbane
2032. The opportunity to bring together a over 100 regional coaches to upskill them and to
then enjoy a relaxed conference dinner was a RAS initiative long in the making.
Kevin Thompson, Chief Executive of NSWIS followed, “The 2022 RAS Coaches Conference
was an overwhelming success, bringing together the state’s best coaches and providing the
opportunity to reignite after COVID-19. NSWIS was proud to invest in the opportunity,
alongside the Office of Sport, to create a platform to further educate, collaborate and
celebrate the achievements of regional coaches.”
“Coach development and regional planning are critical in developing the next generation of
world’s best athletes ahead of Brisbane 2032, and I look forward to more opportunities to
continue develop these pathways. I look forward to this conference becoming a regular
event!” he finished.
RAS is already planning a Coaching Conference Extension Program, aimed at introducing the
network of coaches to another host of extremely well qualified professional coaches. This
program will build on their personal development by creating a strong mentoring program
across regional NSW.
The RAS network would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of this event; The
NSW Office of Sport, NSWIS, Steadfast, Destinations NSW, UAA and Mingara Recreation
For further information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer – Southern Sports Academy
0409 821 133