The Induction Evening is one of the most important nights in the Academy’s calendar, and gives us the perfect opportunity to recognise the achievements of our existing members, and also welcome in new members to the Academy.

In the two years since our last Sports Academy Induction Evening, the number of athletes in the Academy has nearly doubled and the variety of sports represented has flourished.

Lindisfarne has nearly 100 athletes, up from just 57 two years ago, competing in sports ranging from cricket and tennis, to karting, gridiron, surf life saving, equestrian and even rhythmic gymnastics. They’re driven to success by a specialist team who guide the students on ways to improve their strength and conditioning, rehabilitation and diet.

Director of Lindisfarne Sports Academy Mr Bedford outlined how the Academy had adapted to the challenges of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, saying some sports were still feeling the fallout from the virus, while others had changed for the better.

“I was amazed to see how certain sports were able to adapt to the frustrating climate,” Mr Bedford told the attendees, “and athletes reshaped the way they participated in their sports.”

“Surfing competitions went online with surfers submitting their best waves, some sports turned to simulations more like arcade games, and the number of strength and conditioning apps went through the roof.”

Mr Bedford said the students had shown great resilience and commended their ability to adapt to the new way of living and training.

“The dedication and hours you put into your training, the sacrifices you have to make daily, the balancing act you have to juggle with your sport and life [is] amazing.”

And a special mention was also given to parents, carers and support crew.

“The endless hours, the food bills, the sporting costs, the amount of driving and travel, the sacrifices, the emotional ups and downs, and the never ending support are an integral part of making a champion athlete, and I feel the students owe you a big thank you,” said Mr Bedford.

Sports Academy Mentors, Sharon Buchanan, Samantha Riley and Bill Chaffey were put ‘Under the Grill’ by Lindisfarne’s Sports Prefects, Samantha Harvey and Oliver Churchill, as they answered questions on what a typical training day looked like for them, at what age they thought they could turn their chosen sport into a career, as well as highlighting a young sports person who they felt was up-and-coming.

The audience was also treated to a recap of the sporting prowess of Head of Middle School Jeremy Godden, and how close he came to making it in the big time.

Matt Bedford delivered the evening’s annual report on behalf of his Co-director, Matt Fydler, who said the night was a highlight in his calendar and he’s proud “to acknowledge Lindisfarne’s finest athletes”.

In his notes, Mr Fydler gave a thorough recap of the past two years for the Sports Academy but, more importantly, detailed his desire to be back on board and involved in the Sports Academy.

The Academy continues to support the talented athletes at Lindisfarne and looks forward to the next intake of talented students in Term 4.