The Australian Sports Commission’s CEO Simon Hollingsworth has wrapped up 2012 as they prepare for 2013.
There were some incredible performances by Australian athletes this year at the London Paralympic and Olympic Games in sailing, cycling, swimming, athletics, kayaking and track and field. ‘Our Olympic tally of 35 medals was an impressive haul and Australia’s Paralympic team finished fifth in the medal tally with 85 medals, proving they are among the world’s best,’ he says. ‘Congratulations also to our world championship-winning Australian women’s netball team, the Australian Jackeroos men’s fours lawn bowls team, the Australian women’s cricket team who brought home the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup, and Joel Parkinson who won his maiden 2012 ASP World Surfing Title at the Billabong Pipe Masters.’
He says the Commission is already planning for future success at Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, with the recent launch of their new business model for high-performance sport, Australia’s Winning Edge 2012–2022. ‘Despite our athletes’ successes in London, it is clear that the intensity of international competition is increasing and Australia’s overall relative Olympic position has been trending downwards since the Sydney 2000 Games.’
Australia’s Winning Edge centres on targets for Australia to be a top-five nation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, top 15 at the winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, number one at the Commonwealth Games and have more than 20 world champions annually.
Funding to sports will be based on investment principles that will assess sports’ ability to provide sound evidence that they can contribute to the targets.
‘As Australia’s national high-performance agency, the AIS will be responsible for funding recommendations of sports to the ASC board and open its campus doors to more athletes to use its state-of-the-art training environment and world-leading sports science, recovery and rehabilitation facilities.’
The role of the AIS will also be significantly expanded with the establishment of the AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership; support for a greater number of athletes and a renewed focus on talent identification including an annual Sports Draft Camp to spot potential Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games champions.
While Australia’s Winning Edge is focused on high-performance sport, the connection with grassroots participation is well established. Encouraging and supporting community participation in sport will continue to be a key focus for us at the ASC.
‘With more than 190,000 school children across the country participating in the Active After-school Communities program and the support for other national programs including Surfgroms, Tackers, in2cricket and Cardio Tennis, we continue to make great headway with encouraging children of all ages into sport.’
He says that another highlight of the calendar was the World Class to World Best: Australia’s High-Performance Sports Conference 2012 hosted by the AIS. The conference brought together high-performance coaches, directors, managers and support staff across the sport sector to discuss approaches to high-performance sport.
‘For those with a passion and commitment for participation in sport, I hope you will join us for Our Sporting Future Forum 2013, April 10–12, to be held in Melbourne. This forum will examine current issues and the long-term sustainability of Australian sport.
‘I would like to thank all our sporting partners and ASC staff for your professionalism and commitment over the past year and wish everyone a happy and safe festive season.
‘It is shaping up to be an exciting and challenging time for Australian sport in 2013. I look forward to working with you to achieve outstanding outcomes for Australian sport.’