Acamemy athletes ignore the rain

THE third and final instalment of the Academy Games in the Illawarra was a rousing success on and off the field.

Athletes from host association the Illawarra Academy of Sport performed strongly during the three-day event which started on Friday, April 11.

Wild weather initially put competition at risk, but skies cleared to allow all seven sports to take place at venues in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, the Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands.

The triathlon on Sunday at Port Kembla was converted to a duathlon after organisers cancelled the swim leg due to treacherous ocean conditions. Illawarra's Gus Franks came in second, just ahead of Jack Orr from North Coast Academy.

Cycling on the Southern Highlands fell foul of Saturday's wet conditions, with a time trial planned for Bowral Velodrome cancelled due to a wet track.

The criterium went ahead as scheduled on Sunday, with Illawarra's Cameron Scott finishing second in A grade behind Western Region's Adam Mitchell.

IAS rider Mitchell Wright was named leading cyclist in the under-15 men's division.

Illawarra Academy's Blue team took out the lawn bowls at Bomaderry, edging out Western Region.

IAS netballers had a mixture of big wins and tight tussles, starting with a 41-10 thrashing of Far West Academy followed by a narrow win over South West Sydney and a draw with Southern Sports Academy.

There were mixed fortunes for the host hockey teams, with Illawarra girls defeating Northern Inland, Southern and Hunter, but going down to Western Sydney. The boys had a strong win over Western Sydney and narrowly lost to Hunter.

Golfers braved misty and wet conditions at The Links Shell Cove and Kiama Golf Club, with strong performances from Illawarra's Dani Vasquez, Travis Fay and Tom Heaton.

Rugby union players received expert tips from Australian Rugby Union coaches at a skills session on Saturday, followed by a competition between Illawarra and South West Sydney Academy of Sport.

Illawarra Academy of Sport acting general manager Shannon Fraser said the 2014 Games were a resounding success despite concerns about the weather, and the athletes had experienced some great competition.

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