Date: Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Two Invercargill teenagers have been honoured as the Academy Southland sports programme wrapped up for the year on Monday night.

Cyclist Corbin Strong, 17, and badminton player Ella Smith, 17, took part in the two-year programme that included foundation and leadership years and provides advice and guidance around mental skills, performance nutrition, athlete life, and strength and conditioning. 

Strong had an impressive Leadership year with the Academy, which was supported by Sport Southland, McKenzie said.

The Southland Boys' High School year 12 student won a bronze medal as part of the team pursuit at the junior world track championships, three under-19 titles at the Oceania championships in Cambridge, a stack of national and provincial titles and was named Southland secondary schools male sportsperson of the year.

Strong is currently ranked as the number one men's under-19 omnium rider in the world.

Smith was named the Foundation year winner, after a year which saw her selected in the New Zealand under-19 badminton team.

Academy Southland programme manager Jason McKenzie, in a statement, said the year 12 student from Southland Girls' High School made huge improvements this year and performed strongly on the world stage.

McKenzie said the installation of the Mike Piper Training Centre, a purpose-built high performance gym based inside the SIT Velodrome, had been a highlight of 2017.

"We have immediately seen the benefits of having the Mike Piper centre in action and it's going to pay dividends over the years to come."

Applications for the Academy Southland 2018 intake will open in the new year.

Caption: Outstanding performance and commitment year two winner Corbin Strong, 17, left, and year one winner Ella Smith, 17, with the year one and two Academy Southland athletes in behind.

Article and photo courtesy Stuff

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