The Northern Inland Academy of Sport launched its first sporting program 30 years ago, in October 1992.
Since its humble beginnings with five sports programs, the academy has grown immensely in its three-decade lifespan.
Today, the academy operates 11 sports, including netball, which is the only sport to have consistently been offered each year since it's inception, with three full time staff who work together with the sports to facilitate the opportunities for young sportspeople to progress in the sporting pathway and provide support for their personal development.
The success of these sporting programs is supported by a strong foundation of numerous volunteers who contribute their time each and every year, including coaches, managers, health professionals and our regional communities generally.
In addition to the 11 pre-elite sports programs, NIAS seeks to grow opportunities for the region's young people in partnership with our regional communities by offering additional activities and events such as the recent Underwriting Agencies Australia (UAA) Indigenous Talent Identification Day, and the upcoming National Primary Games (NPG).
The NPG is a major sporting event that has been on the academy's calendar since 2015, and will this month welcome hundreds of young sporting teams from within the New England and North West areas and beyond.
It is supported by platinum partners the Regional Australia Bank, along with the Tamworth Regional Council, the Australian Olympic Committee and the NSW Regional Academies of Sport.
"The National Primary Games is a terrific initiative for young girls and boys who just want to have a go and play sport," NIAS sports programs manager Richard Willis said.
"It is a fun, non-competitive environment, giving motivated kids an opportunity to play their favourite sport with their friends, against teams from different areas they would not otherwise play".
With little over two weeks until the seventh edition kicks off, nominations for the event are strong, and registrations remain open until this Friday (July 8).
In the months following this large-scale, mutli-sport event, NIAS will be preparing for another major event - a celebration of the organisation's 30 year milestone.
The celebrations will commence in Armidale on September 29 and be followed by a finale event in Tamworth on Saturday October 29.
They will focus on the achievements of NIAS alumni, athletes, current and former volunteers and staff, health practitioners, education professionals, sponsors, individuals and families who have been involved in NIAS and supported the organisation in some way during this time.
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