Young Academy stars set off to tackle best
FOURTEEN Clarence Valley athletes will make the long bus trip to Woolongong this weekend for the Clubs NSW Academy Games.
Representing the North Coast Academy of Sport teams in netball and hockey, the local athletes will get the chance to play against 1000 other talented athletes from around the state.
Grafton High students Sarah Kitcher (netball) and Emilia Blanch (hockey) are both returning to the games for the second time.
"There are seven girls and about five boys going down from Grafton to play hockey," Blanch said. "This is my second year at the games and I'm looking forward to it."
Kitcher will be joined by Iluka's Nirvarna Makings on the netball courts as one of the two local representatives in the NCAS squad.
Grafton's Tahlia Goodwin was also selected to play but has been sidelined for up to three months with a knee injury.
It is a crushing blow for the rising star who was close to national selection.
"It's a shame Tahlia won't be there, but I'm sure she'll be back on the court soon," Kitcher said.
"I play all over the court in the local A-grade competition for Tucabia Opals, but I think I'll probably be playing goal defence, wing defence or goal keeper on the weekend."
Athletes from academy programs around the state will compete in a range of sports from netball and hockey to lawn bowls, basketball, triathlon and rugby.