The Southern Sports Academy (formerly Riverina Academy of Sport) was the fifth of eleven Regional Academies established across the State of New South Wales.

The Southern Sports Academy was officially opened in July 1992 and since then has successfully provided over 1,000 talented athletes with the expertise to nurture both their sporting prowess and their holistic personal development

The sports of Softball and Rugby League were chosen as the initial Academy sports, with Soccer being added under the Academy’s umbrella in 1993.

Within each sports program, a number of athletes are awarded Academy scholarships on an annual basis. These scholarships allow each athlete to participate in the Academy’s programs by giving them access to specialised workshops in sports’ specific technique and skill training, Athletic Development, Sports Technology, Sports Medicine, Sports Psychology, Sports Nutrition and various Personal Development Workshops.

The Academy aims to provide Southern NSW athletes with high-level professional resources that are not readily available to athletes in regional areas, therefore eliminating the high cost of travel to seek these resources.


As a member academy of the Regional Academies of Sport (RAS), SSA is a key system partner of the NSW Office of Sport’s Future Champions Strategy. The Future Champions is a four-year strategy launched in December 2019 by the NSW Office of Sport, that aims to equip and empower our foundational and emerging athletes (and their parents, coaches etc.) to fulfill their sporting aspirations and engage and unite our pathways sector and stakeholders to provide them the best support at the right time.

For more information about the NSW Office of Sport Future Champions Strategy follow this link


Adapted from the original FTEM Framework (Gulbin, Croser, Morley & Weissensteiner, 2013), the FTEM NSW Participant and Athlete Framework developed by the NSW Office of Sport, is directly informing and supporting the guidance and ongoing support provided by the Office of Sport Pathways team including the NSW Government’s Future Champions – Pathways to Sporting Success strategy.

The Regional Academies of Sport are recognised in the FTEM model. SSA and the other regional academies in NSW are commissioned by many sports to operate in the T (Talent) section of the pathway moving athletes from T1 to T4.

For more information about FTEM NSW resources, follow this link