More than 250 netballers from across South Australia and the invitational team from the Marlin Coast Academy in Far North Queensland played in the 2017 Mellor Olsson Academy Games from 3-5 October.
All eyes were on court for the Division 1 final, where Northern Metropolitan defeated South East.
The winner of Division 2 was Adelaide Metropolitan A, who defeated Adelaide Metropolitan B. Adelaide Metropolitan were also victors in Division 3 defeating Northern Metropolitan.
Netball SA State Coach Program Manager, Roz Fraser, said it was a privilege to witness great netball over the three days.
“This year we saw 26 teams compete, including invitational team Marlin Coast who made the trip from beautiful Far North Queensland,” she said.
“Congratulations to all of the players, not only for the way you played on-court but for the way you have represented your Academies throughout the year and this event.
“Other highlights of the games included seeing 26 umpires successfully gain their National C Grade Badge and players being selected to attend the 17U State Team Trials, which will commence at the end of October.”
Netball SA thanks Mellor Olsson for its generous sponsorship of the Academy Games, which were held at Priceline Stadium.
Mellor Olsson held a competition across the three days where the netballers were asked “what would make a difference to your netball journey?”
Responses included: “mentor coaching from the Adelaide Thunderbirds”, “petrol money to get to and from trainings and carnivals”, “new netball shoes”, “compression tights” and “an agility ladder”. At the closing ceremony, three lucky netballers were donated their dream item by Mellor Olsson.
The Mellor Olsson Academy Games (formerly known as the Regional Championships) started in 2000.
The Mellor Olsson Academy Games is an event that culminates the ‘Dare to Develop a Diamond Academy Program’, by showcasing the skills the players have learnt throughout the pre-elite program.
Academy players are selected through open trials that take place in February/March each year when a squad of between 20 to 40 players is selected. The squad trains once a month, following a National skills, fitness and netball theory program. From this all players are selected for one of the three divisions to participate in the Academy Games.
On the National Player Pathway, the Academy Program sits above the Association Representative Teams and just below the 17U State Team.