The first of two NIAS awards nights have recognised some of the academy’s top athletes.
Juniors were given awards for achievements in their chosen sports on Saturday.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to recognise these athletes for all their achievements throughout the year,” NIAS’ Sam Rains said.
“We've had a fair bit of growth over the past year and we couldn't host it [the awards] in one venue at one time so decided to split it up.
“It’s an outstanding problem to have. We couldn't be happier about it and hopefully we can push it even further next year.
“The whole point of us being here is to give as many kids as much of an opportunity as possible. When it’s growing like this it means we’re doing our job.”
The overall athlete of the year will be revealed at the second awards night at the Armidale City Bowling Club on October 20 which will also focus on rugby league, soccer and tennis programs.
AFL (boys): Morgan Dunn (Walcha)
AFL (girls): Kyla Hamilton (Inverell)
Athletics: Amelia Mazzei (Armidale)
Basketball (boys): Connor Watt (Tamworth)
Basketball (girls): Anika Earsman (Tamworth)
Golf: Toby Cooper (Uralla)
Hockey (boys): Alex Taggart (Tamworth)
Hockey (girls): Lily Neilson (Armidale)
Mountain biking: Isla Maidment (Tamworth)
Netball: Anna Atkinson (Scone) and Elizabth Chard (Glenn Innes)
Scott Campbell Memorial Lonestar Athlete of the Year: Jack Davis
NIAS Chairman’s Award: Kyla Hamilton. Coach of the Year Award: Helen Willis