Testing the next generation of athletes

Budding Ceduna athletes were put through their paces last Wednesday for the first Far West Sports Development Academy session of the year.

The group of 15 from Ceduna Area School and Crossways Lutheran School were led by visiting strength and conditioning coach Tony Checker from Adelaide for the session at the community gym at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex.

Students undertook a series of tests earlier this year to determine the academy participants and until the end of next year the group - aged 13 to 15 - will take part in two one-hour sessions per week during the school term.

Student academy coordinator Chloe Sleep said they would undertake a range of drills during the sessions, which were not designed around any particular sport.

"They will do a range of things to improve their overall athletic development from strength and conditioning to speed and stamina," she said.

"There is nothing set, only to help their athletic ability grow now to have the chance to compete in sport at a higher level."

She said the academy had returned after taking a year off and hoped it would remain a permanent fixture.

Mr Checker led the group through a series of drills and other sessions will also be led by expert trainers.

Ms Sleep said the group would see plenty of benefits from taking part in the development academy.

"It will increase confidence, physical performance and mental health, plus there's the community factor and makes them feel part of something," she said.