QBE Swifts Academy launched to support next generation of athletes
QBE is extending its support to the next generation of athletes through the establishment of the QBE Swifts Academy, launched in partnership with the NSW Swifts and backed by Netball NSW.
The Academy will provide an elite talent pathway for aspiring netballers across the state through exposure to a daily training environment and coaching excellence at one of the sport’s most celebrated clubs.
Up to 20 promising athletes will join the QBE Swifts Academy in its inaugural season, which will commence later this year.
The launch signifies a special milestone in QBE’s decade-long partnership with the NSW Swifts, while offering a platform to boost professional participation in Australia’s most popular female sport, and Australia’s most popular team sport for girls, boasting a 31 per cent participation rate among girls aged 12 to 14.
QBE Australia Pacific CEO Vivek Bhatia said he was delighted that the Swifts’ principal partners had the opportunity to further support netball in NSW, especially with a venture that helped young, aspiring netballers fulfil their potential.
“It’s an incredible privilege to support the development of elite talent at one of the state’s favourite clubs.
“QBE has partnered with the Swifts for more than ten years, joining forces both on and off the field to support the sporting and broader community – the Academy is yet another example of our partnership in action and a significant milestone in our journey with the club.
“As well as developing a strong pipeline of talent for the Swifts, initiatives like the Academy are an important way to expose more young athletes to playing and coaching excellence, boosting participation and providing a positive experience with benefits that will extend well beyond the court.”
The announcement follows the establishment of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy Youth Girls Program, which launched in 2018 to provide an elite female talent pathway and pipeline and has rapidly expanded over the last two years.
In 2019 alone the Program has welcomed 220 budding young female footballers into the Swans family, including a new first ever under-14s division.
Nikki Horton, General Manager of the NSW Swifts, said the establishment of the QBE Swifts Academy was a momentous day for the club.
“I think when you look at netball we’ve been the leaders of women in sport for many decades and now it’s about making sure the Swifts are fully equipped for a very competitive future - this Academy does a huge amount to achieve that goal,” she said.
“With tens of thousands of kids playing the game across the state we are lucky to have a large pool of talent in New South Wales and this Academy will provide another goal for them to strive towards.
“It will also be fantastic for these future stars to share facilities with the NSW Swifts, who boast some of the best local, national and international talent in world netball. Elite sport is often about creating heroes and getting the next generation to emulate them and that will be one of the key goals of this venture.
“I would like to thank QBE Insurance, our naming rights partners for the QBE Swifts Academy, and Netball NSW for their vision and support of this.”
Briony Akle, NSW Swifts Head Coach, said the initiative will build on the club’s legacy.
“I am very excited about the vision for the Club’s future,” she said.
“The Swifts’ history and legacy, going back to the days of when the likes of Liz Ellis, Cath Cox and Susan Pettitt played for us, is very rich.
“I think an Academy not only develops the next generation but also honours all of the wonderful players who have come through our ranks down the years.
“It is their legacy that inspires us, and it’s what we are looking to continue. This Academy gives us a huge opportunity to achieve similar successes.”
For more information:
External Communications Manager
QBE Australia Pacific
Mobile: +61 418 218 722