About the IAS

Established in 1985 and the pioneer for the regional Academy model in Australian sport, the Illawarra Academy of Sport is a not-for-profit sporting organisation that exists to provide localised training and education opportunities for talented young athletes, coaches and administrators across the Illawarra region.

The Illawarra Academy of Sport has supported more than 5400 regional athletes over the years and provides developmental support to around 160 local athletes and 40 coaches and administrators each year.

The IAS operates through the Illawarra’s geographic region comprising the five local government areas of; Wollongong, Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee. The region has a population of over 410,000 residents and covers an area of around 8,485 square kilometres.

The Illawarra Academy of Sport, with the support of our many partners, provide athletes with the programs to develop, excel and achieve through sport while maintaining strong community ties —this in turn produces young ambassadors for the Illawarra community, the Illawarra Academy of Sport and their valued partners.

The Academy currently provides athlete development programs across eight sports disciplines including Girls AFL, Basketball, Cycling, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Rugby Union, and Triathlon as well as LoneStar Individual Athlete Programs and an Athlete with a Disability program. These programs provide not only on-field technical skill acquisition and physical development, including Musculoskeletal Screenings and individualised movement competency programming, but focus also on the personal and professional maturity of the athlete through an education curriculum including Sports Nutrition, Performance Psychology, Time Management, Goal Setting, Drugs in Sport, Public Speaking and Media Awareness. This unique approach to athlete development assists in positively and significantly influencing the next generation of athletes and in the process creates better sporting citizens within our community.

The Illawarra has a rich history in developing and elevating athletes to higher representative honours, with the IAS a significant vehicle in the process. IAS graduates include:

  • Brett Lee, Shane Lee & Phil Jaques (cricket)
  • Luke Wilkshire (soccer)
  • David Smith & Zoe Uphill (kayaking)
  • Kieran Govers & Tristan White (hockey)
  • Josh Morris, Brett Stewart, Shaun Timmins, & Craig Fitzgibbon (rugby league)
  • Daniel Palmer (rugby union)
  • Sally Fitzgibbons & Michael Lowe (surfing)
  • David & Emma McKeon, Jarrod Poort & Robert Hurley (swimming)
  • Siobhan Paton, Megan Newell, Jessica Smith & Brett Stibners (AWD)
  • Leif Selby & Karen Murphy (lawn bowls)
  • Marni Hansell & Sarah Barrett (netball)
  • Ben Kersten, Joshua Kersten, Rochelle Gilmore & Caleb Ewan (cycling), and
  • Ryan Gregson (athletics)

The Illawarra Academy of Sport relies heavily on the generous support of the community through government and local council funding, fundraising initiatives, corporate partnerships and mutually beneficial commercial sponsorship arrangements.