Time is running out for the best young netballers in the Illawarra and surrounding regions to nominate for the South Coast Blaze's 2021 Talent Identification Program.
The NSW Premier League franchise's elite program - run in partnership with Kiama, Shoalhaven and Illawarra netball associations - is open to female and male athletes aged 14 to 18, with registrations closing at midnight this Sunday. Trials will be held on February 28 at 10am in Shoalhaven.
It is the second year that TIP has been held and Blaze Opens head coach Marji Parr invited any interested players to register.
"The program is important in terms of identifying athletes, not just from our region but from the wider NSW community, to make sure we're capturing those athletes who might not have had an opportunity to be cited, or get the level of skills and exposure to a high performance and an elite environment with our coaching staff," she said.
"It's important that we can build those athlete numbers and make sure we can get them into our sport and keep them."
Parr said the Blaze had reaped immediate rewards from the TIP in 2020.
"What was really exciting last year was to be able to recognise there were multiple athletes within the TIP program who were also recognised in pathway representative teams and the Illawarra Academy of Sport," she said.
"They have made sure they've made themselves available to as many programs as possible, so they can get as much experience and skills acquisition under their belts in the season, even with COVID.
"It was really fantastic to see that and we're hoping to even better that this season."