Search on for next generation of sports stars

Published 30 July 2008

Do you think you have what it takes to represent Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games or do you know someone else who does?

Then Southern Cross University’s Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management wants to hear from you as it joins in a national search for the next generation of Aussie sports stars.

The University has joined forces with the Australian Sports Commission’s National Talent Identification and Development (NTID) program to offer young sportsmen and women aged between 12 and 25 the opportunity to participate in this unique talent identification screening project.

It is operating as one of a number of national testing centres aiming to identify, and help fast-track, talented athletes from around Australia into selected Olympic Games and World Championship sports.

The program aims to find and develop new athletes and to transfer existing athletes between sports to possibly represent Australia at the 2012 London Olympics and beyond.

Australian Sports Commission director of sport performance and development, Greg Nance, said that through partnerships such as these, the talent identification program hopes to increase the number of results received and improve talent detection opportunities.

“For Australia to retain its current high ranking in world sport and become competitive at an international level across a wider range of sports, it is important that we use these already established and effective networks to seek out and fast-track talent in Australia,” Greg said.

By working with Southern Cross University, and more than 20 other universities and academies of sports from across the country, NTID has been able to establish in excess of 20 registered talent assessment centres, which will assist in validating an athlete’s physical performance results generated from a revolutionary new web-based self-identification tool, eTID.

eTID is an online tool that allows athletes to enter their own results for a set of predetermined physical screening tests and then be provided with feedback on their results compared to normative data for their age and gender. Those athletes participating in the online screening are then encouraged to attend a follow-up screening at one of the testing centres, such as at Southern Cross University.

Cameron Phillips, technical officer in the University’s exercise physiology laboratory, said he was delighted SCU was part of the national project and was able to contribute its high degree of staff expertise and skill as well as its state-of-the-art training equipment, to help identify elite athletes.

“We will be holding a testing day here on campus on Saturday, October 11, for those athletes who have done the online test and self-identified as being possible Olympic-standard athletes,” Cameron said.

“They will undergo a series of further assessments, including a cardio-vascular fitness test, a vertical jump and a sprint test to determine their fitness, endurance and general sporting potential.

“Anyone who demonstrates above average potential in the tests may be invited to participate in the NTID program.”

Cameron said the program would also contribute to the development of coaches in Australia, with approximately 60 coaches involved in the program once all projects were underway.

To access eTID or to book into a SCU testing session visit www.ausport.gov.au/etid

For further information on the NTID program visit ausport.gov.au/participating/got_talent

Photo: Cameron Phillips wants talented young athletes to put themselves to the “Olympic” test at Southern Cross University.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.