Talent shines on

ACHIEVE: Southern Sports Academy co-coach Brendan Sims, with Leeton players Lucy Preston, 13, and Emily Clyne, 13.
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LEETON’S Lucy Preston and Emily Clyne will take to the court this weekend representing the Southern Sports Academy on the Central Coast.

The talented pair were selected in the academy last year following trials and have been regularly training in Wagga and Canberra for the past six months in preparation for this weekend’s games.

Southern Sports Academy co-coach and Leeton resident Brendan Sims said the duo had improved on their skills since their selection.

“It’s definitely a big achievement for them to be selected in the academy,” Sims said.

“They’ve taken part in a number of camps in the lead up to this weekend’s competition.

“I can definitely see that they have improved by being part of the academy.

“They don’t just learn about playing the game of basketball, but there is a focus on health, fitness, nutrition and things like that.”

The pair will compete at the 2015 ClubsNSW Academy Games, which include a number of sports and not just basketball.

The girls will play numerous teams from across the state as part of the event.

Emily, who hopes one day to be a professional basketball player, was looking forward to getting on the court.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

“It should be a really good experience.

“We’ll get to meet new people as well.”

A round-robin format of matches will be played throughout the weekend.

Lucy said being part of the Southern Sports Academy had been a beneficial experience.

“It’s been really good … a lot of fun,” she said.

“I’ve learned a lot.”

The ClubsNSW Academy Games are an initiative of the Regional Academies of Sport NSW Incorporated.

It is expected more than 700 athletes, coaches and team officials will be part of this weekend’s event.

Sims was confident the Leeton contingent would perform well.

“The girls have definitely grown as players since they were selected in the academy,” he said.

“In the past we’ve had the Marks brothers (Ben and Luke) be selected in the academy for basketball, so it was nice to see some more Leeton representatives.

“The academy can lead to really good things, so the girls should be really proud.

“It would be good if we had even more Leeton players be selected in the academy in the coming years.

“It’s a great learning experience for them and allows them to bring back the skills they learn to their Leeton teams.”

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