Helping the Thunderbirds of tomorrow fly

In 2022, Netball SA is proud to launch its inaugural Adelaide Thunderbirds Talent Academy program.

The program helps talent identified players, coaches and umpires reach their potential.

It decentralises the delivery of developmental and high-performance programs to South Australian member associations and develops links between the regions, Netball SA and the South Australian Sports Institute. 

Led by South Australia’s top coaches, the Talent Academy is designed to give aspiring elite netballers a flying start, as a pathway to Netball SA's state teams and beyond. 

We are proud to have several Adelaide Thunderbirds and Australian Diamonds come through earlier versions of the program.   

Trials commence in February. The main program runs from February to October of each year.   

Registrations are now open for the 2022 program. Register now via the link below. Registrations close 9am Monday 21 February 2022
Register

Program snapshot

Talent Academy Coaches

Key 2022 Talent Academy Dates

DATE

TIME

LOCATION

TYPE

26/27 February

Saturday: 10am-3pm

Sunday: 9am-2:30pm

Adelaide

Trials

1 May

10am-4pm

Based on region of athletes selected

Training

29 May

10am-4pm

Based on region of athletes selected

Training

2/3 July

Saturday: 10am start Sunday: 3pm finish

Adelaide

Training Camp Overnight

14 August

10am-4pm

Based on region of athletes selected

Training

30 September / 1-2 October

Friday night: Athletes arrive for night session
Saturday: 9am start
Sunday: 2/3pm finish

Adelaide

Training Camp Overnight

Regional and Rural Travel Fund

Applications are currently open for the Regional and Rural Travel Fund.

Closes: 5.00pm Friday 25 February 2022

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Applicant is registered and attends 2022 Thunderbird Talent Academy trials.
  • Travel distance for attendance at trials
    • Flights/ferry and/or 400km+
    • 200-399km
    • Under 199km
  • Accommodation requirements for attendance at trials

Applicants are responsible for sourcing and providing their own travel and accommodation, the fund will provide reimbursement to successful applicants.

Applications will be assessed, and applicants notified of outcome by Friday 4th March 2022.

*Applicants who require funds to enable travel please contact Taylor Dabinett at taylor.dabinett@netballsa.asn.au with any further questions by Friday 18 February 2022 and these applicants will be assessed on Monday 21 February 2022.

Apply online

FAQs

The Academy program has been running for approximately 20 years and in its current format since 2014. While the program has been very successful in progressing our athletes, as with all programs, changes need to happen to ensure we are providing the best opportunities for pathway progression in the current climate. The program is no longer sustainable in its current format which is why Netball SA is launching the Adelaide Thunderbirds Talent Academy.

The format of the Academy Games was part of the old structure of the Academy Program. The new program will still provide opportunities for the athletes to participate in games in Adelaide in October, however this will be in a new format.

Athletes will register to trial for the Adelaide Thunderbirds Talent Academy which will be conducted in Adelaide on the weekend of 26 – 27 February 2022. Successful athletes will be allocated to an Academy.

• 14 to16 year old (born in 2006, 2007 or 2008)
• Must have played Div 1 or 2 in their age group in 2021, or
• Played in a top two senior team in association in 2021

The purpose of the new structure will be to select players with potential to progress through the pathway. The number of athletes selected will be determined during trials, however there will not be as many selected as in previous years.

While the revised approach to the Academy Program will breakdown existing academies, new academy locations will be established for the purposes of training. 
Final academy locations will be determined based on the athletes selected for the program. Travel distance for selected athletes will be carefully considered when determining locations for training in regional areas. Netball SA will collaborate with selected athletes to reduce extreme travel where possible.
  
Applications for Assistant Coach positions will be opened to coaches across the state, and we encourage regional coaches to also consider these opportunities.  

Academy locations will be determined based on athlete selection, with the aim to maximise availability and to minimise extreme travel where possible. 

While two sessions will be held in Adelaide, the remaining three will be based on the region of the athletes selected. Netball SA will collaborate with selected athletes to reduce extreme travel where possible.

Travel distance for selected athletes will be taken into consideration when determining locations for training in regional areas.

Note, the former three-day Academy Games event will be replaced by two metro-based sessions, which are also designed to further enhance regional sessions. 

Athletes will be required to travel to their allocated Academy three times for trainings and to Adelaide twice for specialist trainings. Trials will be conducted in Adelaide and athletes must be prepared to attend both days to be considered for a place in the program. Please note there will be a cut after day one of trials.

Note, with no traditional Academy Games under the new format, no travel is required for this in 2022.

The program has been designed to provide the best opportunities for athletes to progress through the pathway. Netball SA cannot promise academy participants will become an Adelaide Thunderbird; however, the program will provide the most up to date training and development to help with opportunities for progression through the player pathway. As with all programs, commitment and hard work are paramount to success.

All athletes selected into the Academy program will progress through to Phase 2 of 17U state team trials.

Netball SA is extremely proud to have attracted some of our most experienced coaches to head up the new program and further develop our SA athletes. Their experience and team positions they do/have held are listed below

Brian Lines – High Performance Accredited Coach
• Southern Force Head Coach
• 21U State Team Coach
• Premier League Head Coach
• Southern Dragons Men’s Open Head Coach
• State and Southern Force Team Selector

Lee-Anne Cummins – Elite Accredited Coach
• 21U Head Coach
• Southern Force Assistant Coach
• 19U State Team Head Coach
• 17U State Team Head Coach
• Premier League Assistant Coach
• Premier League Head Coach
• Academy Head Coach
• State Team Selector

Kirsty Leonard-Down – Elite Accredited Coach
• 19U State Team Head Coach
• 17U State Team Head Coach
• Southern Force Apprentice Coach
• Premier League Head Coach
• Men’s U23 Head Coach
• State Team Selector
• Head Coach NSA Academy

Judy Greenwood – Advanced Accredited Coach
• Assistant Coach South Australia Institute of Sport
• Assistant Coach Adelaide Thunderbirds
• Assistant Coach Southern Force
• 17U State Team Head Coach
• 19U State Team Head Coach
• Southern Dragons Men’s Assistant Coach
• Mentor Coach NSA Academy Program
• Southern Force Team Selector

• Uniform
• Training sessions – five in total
• Accommodation and meals when in Adelaide 
• Specialist sessions including access to Adelaide Thunderbirds coaches/players 
• Off court components tailored for pre-elite programs (e.g. Psychology, Wellbeing etc.

The cost of the program is $565 per player. This covers all components as outlined above in 'What do my fees cover?'.

The newly introduced ATUS program will continue, however will be in a different format. 
Applicants will need to make themselves available to attend the three sessions conducted in the regions (based on their location) and provide umpiring as required for match play. This will be dependent on how many umpires are in the program and can be on a roster basis.

The two Adelaide sessions will have umpire programs being conducted alongside the player program. An C Badge and B Badge camp will be conducted during the first Adelaide session.

Umpires will attend the second session held in Adelaide and receive further education and mentoring.

Registrations will open for the program and all Associations will be notified of process. All previous ATUS participants will receive communication to their provided email.

• Uniform
• C or B Badge Camps in Adelaide
• Mentoring and education components
• Accommodation and meals when in Adelaide

The cost of the program is $230 per umpire. This covers all components as outlined above.

Have a question about our Adelaide Thunderbirds Talent Academy?

Contact our Pathways Coordinator, Taylor Dabinett to learn more

Get in touch