SA’s rising stars shine


The best of South Australia’s emerging netball talent recently participated in the 2019 Mellor Olsson Academy Games from 1-3 October.

The much-anticipated annual competition is held at Priceline Stadium and sees 21 teams from nine South Australian academies come together to for this wonderful display of young talent in our state.

This year marked the inaugural inclusion of a skill sessions day for day one of the competition, before moving to two days of the on-court competition. The new and improved format gave participants the opportunity to experience nine on and off-court sessions with specialist coaches. This included specialists from across the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Premier League, ANL and state teams. The change was introduced to help enhance player development, particularly in the lead up to state trials.

Roz Fraser, Netball SA Workforce Manager, says she is really pleased with what Netball SA were able to provide players.

“The decision to include the skills component in the games this year was to replicate as closely as possible what will happen when players trial for the Netball SA State Team. Exposure to the calibre of coaches during the day gave players a taste of what level of intensity and commitment is required to progress through the pathway,” said Roz.

The remaining two days of the competition delivered great on court action from talent across the state. Adelaide Netball Academy took out Division 1, defeating South East Regional Netball Academy.

Division 2, Pool A saw both Team A and Team B of Adelaide Netball Academy also battle it out in the final, with Team A securing the win.

Finally, in Division 2, Pool B Northern Regional Netball Academy won the title, defeating Spencer Regional Netball Academy’s Team A.

To enhance the competition, this year Queensland’s Marlin Coast Academy Team were invited to join the Games by special invitation. It proved a great opportunity for both sides to learn from and be challenged by the skills and style of play from another state.

Each year the Games mark the conclusion of the “Dare of Develop a Diamond” program, a key opportunity to help progress emerging talent through the netball pathways. 50 athletes have already been selected to move to phase 2 of the 17U State Team trials.

The 2019 games were again made possible through the generous support of Netball SA’s partner, Mellor Olsson.

At the closing ceremony Central Ranges Netball Academy were announced winners of the Mellor Olsson ‘Making a Difference’ Competition, earning $1,500 for their club that they will put towards clothes to help combat the Woodside winters!

Greg Arthur, Managing Partner at Mellor Olsson, says the games are a special opportunity for their business to give back to South Australia and one they love being a part of.

“Mellor Olsson are proud to sponsor the Academy Games program for the third year in 2019. It’s always been important to us as a business to give back to the communities in which we work and supporting the development of talented young netballers across South Australia is one way we do this.”


Congratulations to all who helped support or participated in the 2019 Mellor Olsson Academy Games. We look forward to another tough competition next year!