Hunter athletes are set to tackle the 2022 Your Local Academy Games commencing from Friday 8th April until Sunday 10th April.

The event, previously hosted by the Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS) in 2018, 2019 and 2021 will now be hosted by the Southern Sports Academy, and will be held across various venues throughout Wagga Wagga region. 

The Games will feature athletes from 11 competing Regional Academies of Sport across New South Wales. 

The competing academies include Central Coast, Far West, Illawarra, Hunter, North Coast, Northern Inland, South East, South West Sydney, Southern, Western Region and Western Region Academies of Sport. 

The tournament will feature emerging talent of 1300 athletes across 7 sports including basketball, cycling, golf, hockey, netball, triathlon and indoor volleyball. Of these 1300, 189 Hunter athletes will be competing.

Chief Executive Officer of HAS Brett O’Farrell says they are highly anticipating the event.

“We are extremely excited to be travelling to Wagga Wagga for the Your Local Club Academy Games in the Southern Region,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“We handed over the reins of hosting duties last year, after 3 years of running the event throughout the Hunter Region, generating an estimated 7000 bed stays with a total economic tourism value of $2.16M.”

The Games are set to provide a significant tourism boost to regional NSW.

“Over the last three years where the Hunter hosted it, there were 21,000 hotel bed stays booked. We do know at this point, we expect close to 7000 bed stays in Wagga Wagga,” he said.

For emerging Hunter athletes, Mr O’Farrell says the games are expected to be a great stepping stone for greater opportunities to come.

“From these games, the state and national selections occur from the states national sporting bodies and what we hope is that some regional athletes are recognised and promoted into state teams,” Mr O’Farrell.

“We’re now 10 years out from the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and the majority of athletes competing in Wagga are 15 and 16, so really what we’re looking at will be those superstars we will be cheering on in 2032”.