Inspirational, Educational and Appreciative - RAS Coaches Conference a RESOUNDING Success

Over 130 sports coaches and staff came together for the Regional Academy of Sports’ (RAS) 2023 Coaches Conference and Sports People Dinner last week in Terrigal. 

Some of the state’s greatest athletes and coaches shared their collective knowledge across a series of workshops, panels, and one-on-one discussions throughout the event. 

The Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) was represented by Chief Executive Officer Shona Eichhorn, Sports Programs Manager Richard Willis, Technical Director Martin Rae (Football), Coach Helen Willis (Hockey) and Amy Roser (Rural Fit).

Attendees were treated to a stellar lineup including Liz Ellis AO (former Australian Netballer), Carrie Graf AM (former Australia Women’s Basketball Head Coach), Mark McVeigh (Sydney Swans Academy Head Coach), Brad McGee OAM (former Australian cyclist and NSWIS Cycling Head Coach), Katie Kelly OAM (former Australian Para-triathlete), Melissa Wu (Australian Diver) and many more who generously shared their time, experiences and accumulated advice with regional coaches and sports personnel.  

“To inspire, facilitate collaboration and to thank… these were the main aims of the annual RAS Coaches Conference. It was an opportunity for our volunteer coaches and staff to learn from the best, to network with like-minded people from a diverse range of sports and to hopefully implement their learnings in their own approach, in their own region. 

“The annual gathering provided the opportunity for the RAS collective to thank our volunteer coaches who give and do so much throughout the year for the ‘love of the game’ because they are passionate about upskilling the next generation in the regions,” said Mrs Eichorn, CEO of NIAS. 

Amy Roser, Excercise Scientist with Rural Fit and NIAS partner said, “It was a fantastic weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to network with a wide range of people with different titles and roles within their academy or greater community. A key point I took away from the weekend is that there are so many opportunities and pathways available to athletes and we are all working as a joint effort to provide the best for our athletes within our region and beyond.” 

Chair of the RAS, Brett O’Farrell said, “The 2023 RAS Coaches Conference was a resounding success, featuring a stacked agenda with elite coaching personnel. This event provided not only great education but also thought-provoking strategic thinking, empowering our coaches to unlock their full potential.” 

Mr O’Farrell also said the conference and dinner served as a thank-you to the many volunteer coaches who work tirelessly throughout the year to nurture talent across regional NSW.

“We are immensely grateful for the invaluable support of NSWIS in making this event a reality, uniting us in the pursuit of sporting excellence,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), Kevin Thompson said, “The 2023 RAS
Coaches Conference was an enormous success, bringing together the state’s best coaches to learn, share and collaborate with some of the best high-performance experts in sport.”

NIAS would like to thank you to the sponsors of this event, The NSW Office of Sport, NSWIS, Steadfast, UAA and Mingara Recreation Club. 

NIAS was represented by coaches, sports personnel and dedicated partners