Identifying future champions

Cyclist National Champion Damien Howson in action.

Could you be our next Olympic Champion?

If you were inspired by the success of our Olympic and Paralympic champions last year and believe that you have what it takes to reach the top of the sporting stage, the South Australian Sport Institute's (SASI) Talent Search Program could help you realise that dream.

Talent search started the careers of London Olympians and Paralympians - Hannah Davis (canoe/kayak), Annette Edmondson, Rohan Dennis and Scott McPhee (cycling); Bryn Coudraye, Renee Chatterton and Chris Morgan (rowing) and Becchara Palmer (beach volleyball). It was also instrumental in identifying the potential of recently crowned National Under 23 Road Time Trial champion Damien Howson.

In addition to open days held during the year and at special events such as the Tour Down Under, between 5000-7000 students aged between 13-16 years are tested annually in high schools by the SASI Talent Search Program.

Dr Eastwood said young athletes taking part in the talent search program will initially undertake specific tests aimed at assessing certain physical and physiological attributes essential for performance in elite level sports such as cycling, rowing, canoeing and volleyball.

"The SASI Talent Search Program aims to identify potential athletes who can represent Australia at Olympic Games and World Championships," she said. "Quite often these athletes have never had the opportunity to try sports that they are most physiologically suited to."

"Only the top two per cent are then selected for the next phase," Dr Eastwood said. "Based on those initial results we start to determine which sports a potential athlete might be best suited to."

Identified athletes at the end of the process will undertake an intensive 12-month training program aimed at fast tracking their development and giving them the opportunity to gain SASI scholarships and be selected onto national teams.

If you think that you might be the right fit for the Rio Olympics and beyond, further information on the SASI Talent Search Program is available from http://www.recsport.sa.gov.au/sasi/talent-id-development.html.

See below video from Annette Eastwood and London Olympic bronze medallist Annette Edmondson discussing the program.


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