WESTVIC Academy has teamed up with Ararat Rural City Council to provide three young athletes access to training opportunities locally that, until now, they haven't had.
WestVic Academy is a non-profit organisation based in Ballarat which delivers strength and conditioning programs, as well as skill training and education programs.
The academy will work with the Ararat Rural City Council to provide free gym and pool access at the Ararat Fitness Centre, as well as personal training sessions with WestVic and Ararat Fitness Centre trainers in Ararat.
Until now the athletes - and their parents - had to drive to Ballarat to access WestVic Academy's gym facilities and trainers, spending hours in the car multiple times per week.
Fourteen-year-old Keelan Perry is one of those who will benefit.
The young javelin thrower has been practicing hard for about 18 months and said he is relieved to get back hours of travel time and put them towards training and schoolwork instead.
"It will help me a lot because usually, I'm spending more time in the car than on the track," he said.
"We're always down from Ararat to Ballarat, just backwards and forwards.
"(Now) I can just head to the gym here and do all my workouts, warm-ups, and flexibility instead of just sleeping (in the car)."
His mother, Melissa Perry, said that the extra hours of travel sometimes had an impact on Keelan's schoolwork.
"Sometimes he'd have to skip some school but now it means he doesn't have to skip school or miss classes," she said.
It is easy to imagine what Keelan could achieve with his new, more focused schedule, given he recently beat his own personal best.
"A few weeks ago I just hit over 32 metres," he said.
That's double his throwing range when he first began and routinely threw around 14 metres.
Others who will benefit are skateboarder Brad Saunders and sprinter, runner and athletics competitor Eugene Read-Spinks.
Brad has been achieving accolades in the skateboarding world for some time already.
He recently won the 2018 Queensland Street Skateboarding Championships in Mackay in the open division, as well as the open mixed best trick category.
WestVic Academy chief officers said the ongoing search for talented athletes is a key function of the academy, and that he was keen to see what potential the area has to offer.
"This will directly benefit the athletes here already, but we are already exploring ways we can identify more athletes," Mr Saitta said.
"We have really successful partnerships with Horsham College and Bacchus Marsh Grammar, and we're sure this will be just as successful."
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