THREE talented local netballers are shooting for state selection when they take to the courts at the 2019 Your Local Club Academy Games this weekend.
Muswellbrook Netball Association's Meg Southcombe and Scone and District Netball Association duo Meg Haylen and Olivia Taylor will join forces in the Hunter Academy of Sport's (HAS) team at the Maitland Basketball Centre on Saturday and Sunday.
And, the trio has high hopes for the 15-16 years' squad.
"We went through the 2018 tournament undefeated," said Southcombe, who'll captain the side.
"So, it would be great to replicate that effort this year.
"We've got a very good team."
"Plus, Meg and I know each other's game well," Haylen added.
"Afterwards, a merit side is selected.
"That could also lead to a NSW berth, so the event provides an excellent pathway for higher rep honours."
But, it won't be easy for the HAS outfit.
"We're playing eight matches over the two days," Southcombe said.
"We know it will be tough, especially starting our campaign against Canberra.
"Then, we face Western Region, Sydney and Far West on Saturday, before meeting North Coast, South West Sydney, Western Sydney and Central Coast on Sunday."
The Games officially begin on Friday, with the Opening Ceremony taking place at the Newcastle Basketball Stadium at 5pm.
It's anticipated that 3000 guests will be in attendance, as well as many notable dignitaries.
Hosted by the HAS, the event is being conducted across various venues throughout the region.
It's also bringing together athletes, staff, families and supporters from all 11 Regional Academies of Sport (RAS) across NSW.
The competing academies include Central Coast, Far West, Illawarra, Hunter, North Coast, Northern Inland, South East, South West Sydney, Southern, Western Region and Western Sydney.
It will highlight guests, too, with teams from Sydney and the ACT also participating.
The Games features the emerging talent of 1200 athletes across eight sports including basketball, golf, hockey, netball, softball, triathlon, AFL and tennis.
The 2019 edition will also showcase an exhibition para-sport match, with wheelchair basketball and para-futsal athletes competing on Saturday morning.
"We are very excited to be given the opportunity to host the Your Local Club Academy Games in the Hunter region," Hunter Academy of Sport CEO Brett O'Farrell said.
"We look forward to building on and improving what was a successful year for the Regional Academies of Sport not just locally, but throughout the state.
"In 2018, the Games estimated 7252 bed stays in the Hunter, with a total economic tourism value of $1,225,588."
Opening Ceremony (Friday, April 12)
5pm-6pm: Newcastle Basketball Stadium
Friday, April 12 - Sunday, April14: Newcastle Basketball Stadium
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: International Hockey Centre, Broadmeadow
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: Stevenson Park, Mayfield
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: Saturday: Pacific Dunes, Medowie; Sunday: Belmont Golf Club, Belmont
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: Maitland Basketball Centre, Maitland
AFL Male and Female
Male: Saturday, April 13: Pasterfields Sporting Complex, Cameron Park
Female: Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: Pasterfields Sporting Complex, Cameron Park
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: Cams Wharf, Lake Macquarie
Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14: District Park, Broadmeadow
Saturday, April 13:
Wheelchair Basketball, main court, Newcastle Basketball Stadium
Basketball, main court, Newcastle Basketball Stadium
Para-Futsul, main court, Newcastle Basketball Stadium