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Rowing

Total investment 2016-17: $8,335,573 (high performance: $7,316,710; high performance - para $474,597; participation $200,000; other $344,266)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 76% 

Olympic qualified boats through a centralised domestic preparation in Canberra. This provided improved oversight of training volumes of key athletes and ensured access to high-level performance support services through the AIS.

At the Rio Olympic Games Australian athletes achieved one gold (Kim Brennan, single scull) and two silver (men’s quad scull and men’s four) medals, improving Australia’s medal ranking from London to fourth overall.

After an extensive consultation and review process in the lead-up to and following the Rio Games, Rowing Australia implemented its new high performance strategy, CampaignNumberOne. This strategy has two key components — the establishment of men’s and women’s national training centres in Canberra and Penrith respectively and bespoke state-based programs in partnership with the National Institute Network and the respective state rowing associations. While Rowing Australia has engaged extensively with its key stakeholders during the pre and post Rio period on the development  of its new strategy, the sport will need to carefully manage its relationships with the network partners throughout the roll out of the new national model. Sufficient resourcing of both centres, including performance support services, is a priority.

In Paralympic events the project to develop a LTA (legs, trunk and arms) coxed four crew for Rio came to fruition in 2016, with an Australian crew winning the last chance Games qualification regatta in Italy in April.

At the Paralympics Australia achieved one silver (Erik Horrie in the arms and shoulders men’s single scull) medal, placing it fifth on the overall medal table. While this achieved the program’s Rio medal target, it was a downturn in the program’s performances from the three years leading into Rio.

Rowing Australia completed a full athlete pathway review with the AIS prior to 2016 and is now implementing the review’s recommendations. A catalyst for the review was the inability to qualify crews for Rio in the lightweight events, categories in which Australia has historically been strong.

Rowing’s restructure of its high performance leadership team following the 2015 world championships gave it a solid foundation leading into the Games. As the sport commences the Tokyo cycle it has key leadership appointments in place, including performance director, deputy performance director, and the men’s and women’s head coaches.

Governance commentary

Rowing Australia is progressing with its governance reforms and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. This includes stronger gender balance, an independent board evaluation, the continued evolution and delivery of a whole-of- sport strategic plan and adoption of national behaviours, emphasised by a national project to achieve a common finance system. The sport is continuing to focus on adopting these national unified behaviours, and on developing and adopting education for stakeholders for integrity matters.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 3-6

Actual: gold 1 silver 2 bronze 0 total 3

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 0 total 1

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