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Sport academy’s decade of fostering SW regional talent

The South West Academy of Sport celebrated its 10th anniversary last Friday, with the region’s sporting elite gathering for the milestone.

Academy chief executive Bernice Butlion, one of several who have been with the organisation since its inception, spoke of how the journey had positively impacted so many South West athletes.

“Since our inception, our achievements include supporting more than 1361 athletes,” she said.

“A total of 370 of these athletes have represented the State — from a national perspective, 116 athletes and from an international perspective, 62 athletes.”

Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray, congratulated all athletes and told them he believes the Academy has provided an integral pathway for those who aim to compete at the highest level.

“The South West Academy of Sport has levelled the playing field for regional athletes, giving our best sportspeople access to the kind of development programs previously only available in Perth,” he said.

“From Olympians to AFL players and professional surfers — SWAS has supported many local athletes to achieve greatness.

“I am proud of what the Academy and its athletes have accomplished over the past 10 years and look forward to seeing what the current crop of athletes can achieve.”

Following the formalities, the Minister and Butlion spent time with the Academy’s athletes, where they spoke of the important role sport can play at reducing antisocial behaviour — along with athletes being positive members of the community.

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