Aspiring young athletes are invited to apply for a scholarship with the South West Academy of Sport for the chance to take their skills to the next level. Applications are now open for the academy’s highly competitive Individual Athlete Support Program, which provides high-level support to athletes looking to transition to the next representative level. The program has a track record for helping local talents achieve their sporting goals, with past participants having gone on to compete on some of the world’s highest sporting stages including the Olympic Games. SWAS chief executive officer Bernice Butlion said the 2022-23 round of the program had already attracted attention from a range of sporting codes. “People have been watching and waiting to see when the latest round is going to open,” she said. “We currently have both athletes and para-athletes in SWAS — and now that the round is open, we encourage athletes of all abilities to apply for a spot in the program going forward.” Geared at assisting high-achieving 15-18 year olds to reach their potential on the sporting field, the program provides high-level support to junior athletes by providing training, coaching and support services close to home. Available support includes meeting training costs, specialised coaching, strength and conditioning services, nutrition assessment, athlete career and education, and access to a sport psychologist and physiotherapist. SWAS has been assisting regional athletes in the South West since 2008, when it was established to even the playing field between regional athletes in the South West and their peers in the Perth metropolitan area. The IASP caters for those whose sport is not covered by the SWAS partner programs of Australian Rules football, cricket, netball and hockey.