Message from ASC CEO Simon Hollingsworth
With the race to the London Games into the final straight, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a hive of activity as Australian teams and athletes fine-tune their preparations.
In recent weeks we have had a number of team and individual sports come to the AIS for camps and practice matches, looking to gain a competitive edge at the Games. Our role is to provide the best possible support and advice to our athletes and teams so they can maximise their performance in London.
Visitation and training camps at the AIS will continue up until July as athletes and teams progressively then head over to Europe. There they will have access to live and train out of the new AIS European Training Centre (ETC) in Varese, Italy. The AIS ETC provides world-class sporting facilities and services such as sports science and sports medicine, strength and conditioning training and athlete career and education support.
April has also had me travelling to various events promoting the great work that all our staff and programs are involved in including the 2012 Swimming Championships in Adelaide, and the UCI World Cycling Championships in Melbourne. The immense talent we have in Australia never ceases to amaze me and this was reconfirmed at the various qualification events I’ve been fortunate enough to attend.
An ASC Sponsors Event held in April in Melbourne was an important opportunity to engage with and recognise our sponsors. I was able to meet with each of them around their commitment and partnership with the ASC and gain a strong first hand appreciation of their insights into AIS sport.
On Thursday, 26 April, Minister for Sport the Hon Kate Lundy will launch the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Challenges. These two individual Challenges are aimed at encouraging primary school-aged children to participate in sport from 28 May 2012 until the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively.
This is a great opportunity to encourage and inspire children to get active, have fun and earn rewards. Schools, after-school care centres, sporting organisations and individual children can register for the Challenges and I encourage kids, parents and teachers to get involved.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hon Warwick Smith AM for his service as Chair of the ASC, who on Wednesday, 25 April will step down from his role. The Chair has provided great support to me as CEO, and since being appointed in July 2010, has steered the ASC with strong leadership and leaves us very well positioned for the future. His strategic focus will benefit the ASC and the sports sector for many years to come.
I wish Warwick all the very best in his future endeavours. In the interim, Deputy Chair, Mr David Gallop, will serve as Acting Chair of the Commission for three months until a new Chair is appointed. Given David’s long service to the Commission, having been on our Board since 2008, I’m sure it will be a smooth transition.