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Coaches key to our sporting success

30 November 2012

A new plan released today aims to develop coaches, nurture young talent and encourage more women to play sport.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has announced a new program to be established at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, focused on coaching and leadership. They are hoping for 30 graduates a year.

The new program is costing $20m over four years and is designed to halt Australia’s declining success in world sport.

ASC Chairman, John Wylie announced the Winning Edge Program in Melbourne declaring the need for “20 or more world champions each year and a top five finish on the medal tally at the Olympics.”

He said not enough is being done to nurture young talent. As part of the plan the AIS will hold a draft camp each year searching for the stars of the future.

“We need to go deeper into our talent pool,” said Simon Hollingsworth, ASC Chief Executive Officer.

Hollingsworth also expressed concern about the number of teenage girls dropping out of sport. He said a unit will be formed to further increase women’s participation in sport.

The AIS Director, Matt Favier, will head the Winning Edge Program.

Under the plan, the goals will need to be achieved using the present level of Government funding. The different sports have to “step up to a new competitive environment.” The funding they receive from the Government will be linked to the targets set.

“There will be greater accountability for sports.”

Wylie told sports representatives the new business plan is necessary because, “Australia is winning less medals and past success is no guarantee of future performance.”

“The London Olympics confirmed it is getting harder to win medals.”

The President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), John Coates, welcomed the new plan saying it “is clearly focused on the steps necessary to ensure continued international success across all sports.”

“Our Olympic sports received a wakeup call in London when we dropped out of the top five in overall medals for the first time since the Sydney 2000 Games. We and our sports simply cannot get back to being one of the top five nations again without the concerted support of the ASC, AIS and the State Institutes and Academies,” Coates said.

“Like the ASC, the AOC is convinced that high performance success is inextricably linked to strong grassroots participation and will continue to play our part in encouraging this through our Olympic Education Program and getting our Olympians out into schools and the general community.”


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