Athletes with a Disability

The IAS is committed to providing equal opportunity for athletes with a disability to achieve sporting excellence through the facilitation of appropriate sports development programs that support and enhance the athlete’s potential and sporting opportunities. Scholarships are offered for a 12-month period commencing in October and concluding September.


The IAS Athlete with a Disability (AWD) Program is designed to support the developmental needs of the regions talented athletes with Disabilities by providing industry leading high-performance sport development programs.


The AWD Program will provide athletes with an opportunity to engage high quality sports coaching, life skills and sports education curriculum, physical development programs as well as the opportunity to attend and participate in all Illawarra Academy of Sport functions. The program is open to individual and team athletes and their coaches.

Mr Kurt Freeme, Head Coach

Ms Georgia Flynn, Assistant Coach



Telaya Blacksmith
Tarren Dyer
Jarrod Dyer
Patrick Mitchell
Chloe Williamson

The IAS 2019-20 Scholarship period will officially run from the Induction Day on Saturday 12 October 2019 through to September 2020.

Key commitments for the Scholarship period include (more specific information to come at Squad Inductions)

Squad Inductions:            (TBA - Early October)
Induction Day:                   12 October 2019
Training:                              Weekly or fortnightly (dependent on time of year)
Education Sessions:          Various dates throughout the year
Athlete Testing:                  Induction Day & Mid-March
Strength & Conditioning: Weekly (dependent on time of year)


IAS Scholarship holders are expected to attend ALL scheduled IAS AWD sessions.


The IAS is committed to the development of the holistic athlete by providing elite training in rugby specific skills development, education and development around strength and conditioning, as well as a sports education curriculum.



Strength and Conditioning

There will be an expectation that IAS athletes commit to a Strength and Conditioning (S&C) program throughout the scholarship period. IAS view S&C as a crucial aspect of any athlete’s development. The IAS S&C program is overseen by our Physical Performance Coach and there are supervised weekly gym sessions at the majority of the council regions.


Education Components

IAS Scholarship athletes will complete an education curriculum covering sports specific topics including sports nutrition, performance psychology, drugs in sport, media/public speaking skills as well as many other topics throughout the year.


Education sessions will be in the form of webinars and workshops. The webinars are easily accessible anywhere, online. The workshops will take place at the University and will be a mix of interactive and content-based learning.

The IAS is the only regional Academy to not charge an athlete levy to athletes successful in obtaining a scholarship. However, athletes may be required to contribute to some additional components of the program such as camps and tours.

Athletes will also be required to purchase the IAS uniform.

Athletes must satisfy the following eligibility criteria as to be considered for an IAS AWD Program Scholarship.

  • Reside in one of the five local councils within the IAS catchment area. These include Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee.
  • Considered disabled due to intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive (including both congenital and acquired impairments), neurological, sensory or physical impairment, or combination of impairments.
  • Be aged between 13 – 18 years of age during the scholarship period. Special consideration may be given to intellectually impaired athletes outside the eligible age up to 25yrs of age, subject to the approval of the IAS board.
  • Be a registered member with a State Sporting Organisation (SSO) through an Association within the IAS Catchment area or The Disability Trust; and
  • Be competing at a state or national level or have been identified by state or national organisations as a future representative athlete.

AWD Selection Criteria – Athletes must satisfy the eligibility criteria and demonstrate the following qualities

  • Affiliation to a sporting association associated with chosen sport
  • Evidence of classification or ability/capacity to gain/ seek a confirmation of disability whether it is physical or intellectual
  • Capacity to represent at State and National level within 12 months
  • Display an ability to apply coaching and technical instruction
  • Display attitude, commitment and dedication to improving performance

Athletes & Parents will be required to attend a short interview with the IAS staff and coaches 

Please click HERE to nominate.


Nominations close 9am Tuesday 24 September 2019. 


More information will be emailed out following nomination close. 

The IAS Athlete with a Disability Program is proudly partnered by The Disability Trust, Money Quest and BaiMed Sports Physiotherapy as well as supported by the Paralympic Sports Commission.

  • 2018/19 AWD Coach & Squad
  • Program Overview
  • Program Specifics
  • Athlete Fees
  • Athlete Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • 2019/20 IAS AWD Selection Process
  • 2019/20 AWD Nominations Are Now Open

Program Partners

Money Quest Beaton Park Leisure Centre BaiMed