21 August 2015
Rural v City based athletes and transition
There has been a strong trend in recent years for junior sport in Australia to become focused around the capital cities in Australia. This shift has given many sports across the country a challenge to balance of supporting and developing talent in rural areas against the big programs in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne etc.
During the course of the research, the AIS team found that many communities felt cut off and even ignored by their sporting bodies. For many decades, State and National representative teams were comprised of individuals from the city and the bush. The research found many sports had moved slightly away from large programs in the country regions and supplemented transition programs instead.
Transition programs are in place to help junior athletes from rural communities find accommodation and assist with transport, food and daily life. Whilst the intentions of these programs are wonderful, they have not equalised the ratio of city versus bush juniors making their way to senior ranks.
The great challenge for Glennie girls and their families is to make the right transition once they finish Year 12. This is not easy and nobody has the best solution. Moving to the city is expensive and usually goes hand in hand with part-time work and studying, which makes the change even harder.
I hope this first reflection is helpful and thought provoking, if you wish for more information and would like to discuss this issue further please contact me.
Mr Greg Convery
Head of Department - Sports