TONI Wilson medallist Beck O'Connell is set to launch the Border's first junior netball academy.
With the nearest academies based at Wagga and Shepparton, O'Connell will run an intensive 20-week program for 14 to 16-year-olds starting in March.
The former Corowa-Rutherglen and Wodonga player said Inspire Netball Academy was about helping youngsters reach their potential.
"We just don't have anything like this," O'Connell said.
"There is such a huge catchment of netballers in this region.
"We have rep sides, associations and some pathways to Melbourne, but this is more designed to getting players from the country to Ovens and Murray as a starting point."
O'Connell hopes to attract 20 to 25 youngsters in the first season with sessions to be held at The Scots School Albury.
Invitations will be sent to Hume and Tallangatta and District leagues asking clubs to nominate players.
Individual nominations will also be taken.
"It will be a first in best dressed scenario," O'Connell said. "We will start with 14 to 16-year-olds and hopefully we can get more age groups as we go.
"For the kids who didn't make rep sides this year this is a good opportunity to improve and hopefully make those sides next year.
"We will cover everything from nutrition, recovery, strength and conditioning as well as the netball aspect."
O'Connell, who is an accredited coach, will continue to run clinics for six to 13-year-olds at Scots during the school terms.
About 50 youngsters took part in the final term last year.
"It's all about giving the kids opportunities to learn," she said.
"I'll be trying to help with foundation skills as often they go from Net Set Go straight into games.
"This is also open to kids who haven't even tried Net Set Go.
"We are going to lose kids to female footy and cricket which is OK but I want to at least provide opportunities."
O'Connell played over 200 matches for Corowa-Rutherglen and Wodonga, winning the Toni Wilson Medal in 2010.
She spent a season playing for Melbourne State League club Hume City Falcons.
The mid-court player coached Billabong Crows to a flag in the Hume league in 2018.
O'Connell has been assisting country clubs, including Henty and CDHBU, with training for several years.
"I love netball," she said.
"I always have.
"You have team camaraderie and the friendships you make are with you for life."
O'Connell can be contacted on email@example.com