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The Water Polo Australia (WPA) Talent Academy Program is an initiative designed to provide training and learning environments for athletes that grows the national talent pool, creates and drives the WPA culture, fosters an inclusive approach and produces players capable of playing at the Olympic Games. Its aim is to fast-track talented athletes into the Elite levels of the athlete pathway who can contribute to the sustainable targets of WPA and Australia’s Winning Edge by winning medals at major competitions.
In the months and years ahead WPA will further develop the Talent Academy Program in line with the revised athlete pathway (detailed below) and in conjunction with its key stakeholders and program partners to produce a more structured and systematic method for identifying, verifying, developing and confirming elite water polo talent.
The initial roll out component of the Talent Academy Program targets men and women in the T3 and T4 stages of the new pathway which will generally be athletes born in years from 1995 to 2000. It will run as a year-long program involving State based weekend Talent Camps in four major centres; Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, which will also be accessible for SA, ACT and TAS athletes. Talent Camps will be held at least twice per year and a Residential Summer Camp based at the AIS in Canberra over the December/January school holiday period for the best identified junior athletes.
The State Associations and Institute Coaches in each State nominate athletes for these Talent Camps. A Selection Panel of the National head Coach and respective junior or youth national coaches will select the final squad of up to 30 athletes for each Camp.
Nationals Coaches will lead the Talent Camps with assistance at these sessions provided from State Institute and state underpinning coaches.
Local Club coaches and National League coaches are invited to attend all sessions as Coaching Development opportunities.
The revised WPA athlete pathway was developed in consultation with the AIS Pathways and Development Team. It reflects the AIS developed Foundations, Talent, Elite & Mastery (FTEM) model which progresses athletes along the “whole of sport” pathway continuum and integrates common and unique phases of development for participants at the active lifestyle, sport and high performance sport phases.
A diagrammatic example of how the FTEM model works is below, with further information available on the Australian Institute of Sport website.
Take also look at the new WPA athlete pathway.
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