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The tally

The Sports Tally provides an annual health check on sports that receive Australia’s Winning Edge funding. This information has been derived from the Annual Sports Performance Review (ASPR) process. Each sport’s high performance progress has been given an overall rating and commentary has been included for high performance and governance. In addition, each sport’s performance has been highlighted through the 2016 benchmark event target and actual results. The overall high performance rating considers each sport against its annual benchmark event performance, future potential and health of the sport’s high performance system. The sport-specific information and evidence is provided and reviewed in collaboration with national sporting organisations (NSO) and the National Institute Network (NIN) through the:

> high performance planning and reporting template
> 2016 benchmark event reports
> 2016 ASPR
> 2016 performance summary report.

The tally key


underperforming significantly below expectation; solutions to challenges not identified

underperforming

progressing evidence of improvement; solutions to challenges being implemented

progresssing

on track working well across key areas; solutions to other areas well advanced in their resolution or management

on track

performing performing well in all areas; able to effectively manage new challenges and optimise performance outcomes

performing

excelling exceptional performance; seeking innovative solutions to further improve performance outcomes; setting a standard for others to aspire to

excelling
 

Comparison ranking — each sport will have a comparison ranking compared to the previous year (2015). This will provide an honest assessment of how each sport has performed over the year in comparison to the previous year.

Arrow up = up Arrow down = down Equal state = same

Investment - the total ASC investment and the ASC funding as a percentage of total income has been outlined for each sport. The percentage is calculated as total national sporting organisation (NSO) reported ASC funding, divided by the NSO’s total reported revenue for their most recent financial year as at 30 June 2016.

Where the ASC supports a specific high performance program (e.g. wheelchair tennis) but provides the NSO with funding for broader projects, the investment amount reflects funding to the NSO as a whole. 

Non-medal target - in all cases where no medal has been forecast or where the lower end of a medal range is zero, a non-medal target is agreed. For example, a non-medal target could be a fourth place or a quarter-final.

Y = yes N = no

Performance target - Sports agree to performance targets with their respective AIS performance manager, based on the sport’s key benchmark event for the year.

The sports

Archery

Total investment 2016-17: $722,200 (high performance: $600,800; participation $100,000; other: $21,400)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 46%

Archery Australia’s high performance program enjoyed success in 2016 with an Olympic bronze medal in the men’s team event (Alec Potts, Ryan Tyack and Taylor Worth) and a Paralympic bronze medal in the men’s open compound event (Jonathon Milne). These were the first medals for archery since the 2004 Olympic Games and 1968 Paralympic Games. Taylor Worth reached the quarter-finals for the men’s individual event. Australia’s sole competitor in the women’s individual event was struck down with illness on the day of the ranking rounds.

The continued engagement with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) was of great benefit given the increased level of centralised training in Brisbane in the months prior to the Olympic Games. Work on athlete and coach pathways was limited while resources were focused on Olympic and Paralympic team preparations such as conducting extensive equipment research and statistical analysis of scoring trends, which provided a competitive advantage to Australian athletes in preparation for the Games.

It was identified early in the four-year cycle that given the available resources, the men’s team event was the strongest chance of medalling in Rio. Therefore, investment was specifically prioritised and targeted to that event. The connection with international teams over the cycle stimulated the domestic training environment while the para-archery program was specifically based around one athlete (Jonathon Milne) in Sydney, who was identified 18 months prior to the Rio Paralympic Games.

Governance commentary

Archery Australia must improve the gender balance of its board as a priority. In addition, a review and updated constitution would see it become more compliant with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Archery Australia has commenced an ASC board evaluation and will benefit from implementing the recommendations.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 1 total 1

Athletics

Total investment 2016-17: $8,657,706 (high performance: $6,496,052; high performance – para $1,611,654; participation $450,000; other: $100,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 59%

Although able-bodied athletics continues to be rated as progressing and para-athletics as on-track, steps have been made in a variety of areas to improve performances in the medium to long term. Athletics Australia has undergone several comprehensive reviews during the Rio cycle that resulted in changes to its structure and senior personnel. New systems have been introduced to increase objectivity and accountability for performance. Considerable progress has been made with assessing and benchmarking athlete performances and the support requirements of the daily training environment.

2016 saw a heavy focus on team delivery for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. The sport worked to create a high performance team culture with a focus on performing at benchmark events. Athletics came away from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with two medals and an increased number of top-eight and top-16 results compared with London and Beijing.

The para-athletics team won three gold medals at the Rio Paralympics, against a target of eight, and slightly exceeded its overall medal target of 20–25 with 26. The emergence of previously unknown athletes from other nations and our own conversion of top-eight performances to medals were again challenging.

The National Athlete Support Structure has introduced a clear structure for the categorisation of athletes and an objective framework for decisions concerning their support, based on consistent performance data. Athletics Australia recognises the need to work more with personal coaches to prioritise athletes’ abilities to peak at benchmark events, particularly through reducing time lost to injury and illness. It has already begun work on better engaging with individual coaches to improve alignment and to design and implement a top-down coach development model and a sustainable coach career pathway.
Athletics considers the implementation of a national service provider framework with each daily training environment for the 2020 cycle a priority and has already implemented a state coordinator model.

The high performance and program development teams are working with AIS Pathways to review and consider a whole-of-sport approach to the athlete pathway.

Governance commentary

Athletics Australia is progressing with governance reform and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles (MSGP). It has further strengthened alignment with Little Athletics Australia, and increased engagement with stakeholders in the development of their strategic direction. Athletics needs to pursue unified behaviours and the redrafting of its constitution to further align with the MSGP.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 2-4

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 1 total 2

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 20-25

Actual: gold 3 silver 9 bronze 14 total 26

Australian Paralympic Committee managed sport

Total investment 2016-17: $3,601,728 - this includes $2,520,522 for APC operations, $300,000 for participation, $724,206 for Paralympic sports managed by the APC and $57,000 in other funding.

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 23%

As well as overseeing the preparation of the Australian team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the delivery of cross-sector programs, the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) directly manages three Australia’s Winning Edge high performance programs:

Wheelchair Rugby

The program achieved its target of a gold medal at the Rio Paralympics, defending its title from London. The program has good leadership from its head coach, and sound strategy and support underpinning its success. The level of competition at the 2016 Games was the closest yet with all games between the top-five teams decided by very small margins, and several going into overtime. Planning across the four-year cycle by the head coach and support staff ensured the team had enough high-quality athletes and embedded team tactics to succeed. The coach and support staff engaged the NIN throughout the Paralympic cycle to ensure athletes received the required support in their daily training environments.

Boccia

The program’s low resource base continues to limit its growth and presents challenges to adequately support its high performance activities. Nevertheless, in 2016 it qualified Dan Michel for Rio, Australia’s first Paralympic representative since the Sydney 2000 Games. He finished 15th in the BC3 classification. Resourcing for coaching in the daily training environment will need to be addressed in order to be successful in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games cycle.

Goalball

The Australian women’s team qualified late for Rio, after the exclusion of Russia. The program came close to realising its top-eight objective for the 2013–2016 cycle finishing ninth in Rio. This was a credible result given its lack of preparation, tying 2-all with the Ukraine and then defeated 2–5 by China. Considerable work is required on the sport’s underpinning structures to give it a better prospect of achieving high performance outcomes during the Tokyo cycle.

Governance commentary

The APC is progressing with its governance reform and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, including improved gender balance and the development of a three-year strategic plan. A key action for the next 12 months is to appoint an external and independent chartered accountant or certified practising accountant to the audit and risk committee. The APC will also benefit from conducting a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Boccia - Paralympic Games

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: N

2016 Benchmark event // Goalball - Paralympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: N

2016 Benchmark event // Wheelchair rugby - Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Badminton

Total investment 2016-17: $635,000 (high performance: $405,385; participation $200,000; other: $29,615)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 15%

Badminton Australia’s high performance program continued to progress in 2016, delivering support and development for an emerging group of talented athletes. The program’s daily performance environment has engaged key athletes training in a centralised environment with close access to performance support services through the Victorian Institute of Sport. This, coupled with targeted international competition and camp exposure, has been a key to developing these athletes.

The program has continued to implement its competition strategy to enhance readiness leading into the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

This has been delivered through participation in a number of specific international training camps and competitions, which integrate with world-class athletes and coaches. The program has a fully developed schedule and strategy leading into the Commonwealth Games, with good relationships with Denmark, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Malaysia.
Badminton has enjoyed its best competition year, including a significant jump in world rankings for women’s doubles from 51st to the top 20. This included the pair’s win at the Dutch Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix. These were the first international grand prix wins for Australia outside of Oceania. An increase in rankings has also been achieved in the Mixed Doubles (49), Men’s Doubles (50) and Women’s Singles (90) in 2016.

Performance outcomes at the 2016 Rio Olympics were as expected, meeting the pre-Games target of two placings between ninth and 16th. These Olympics were utilised as a development opportunity for badminton’s emerging athlete cohort in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

Governance commentary

Constitutional reform has helped Badminton Australia achieve greater compliance across a number of the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, in particular compliance with anti-doping requirements. Over the next 12 months, Badminton should complete the transition to a company limited by guarantee.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: Y

Basketball

Total investment 2016-17: $6,648,614 (high performance: $4,622,364; high performance - para $1,021,250; participation $950,000; other $55,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 59%

Basketball Australia’s review of its high performance program is helping consolidate structural reforms and the appointment of key leadership positions in the sport.

The men’s team performed outstandingly at the Rio Olympic Games to narrowly miss a medal, showcasing the improvement of individual athletes and the team across the four years of the Olympic cycle. The commitment of athletes and staff to best prepare for the Games contributed to their performances. The athletes’ commitment to team preparation, even when engaged in NBA finals, reflected the cohesiveness of the group and positive culture the squad developed over the cycle. The underpinning programs and the connection and exposure of Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence staff and athletes to the Boomers staff and style of play provided significant learning and development opportunities.

The women’s team fell short of expectations in Rio by finishing fifth. Subsequently, Basketball Australia conducted a review of the campaign and identified actions for its Tokyo cycle high performance planning.

There are positive signs for the future with international performances over the cycle delivering a bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup, gold at under-17 world championships, bronze at under-19 world championships and a gold medal at the World University Games. The progression of coaches involved in the program over the four years has been significant and the exposure of a number of new and different coaches to the international arena has been positive.

The world champion men’s wheelchair basketball team, the Rollers, was unable to achieve the expected Paralympic Games medal when it bowed out of the competition in the quarter-finals. The team faced an ever-improving USA team, a more game-experienced Great Britain, and the rise of teams such as Spain and Turkey. However, there is a good depth of athletes underpinning the Rollers for the Tokyo cycle.

The engagement with the wider Basketball community has been positive and will continue to provide opportunities for wheelchair basketball.

The women’s team, the Gliders, did not qualify for the Rio Paralympic Games. Since then, a number of changes have occurred within the program. Plans are in place for the program’s future, including closer relationships with state institutes and academies of sport to ensure effective daily training environment support for athletes.

Governance commentary

Over the past 12 months, Basketball Australia has improved the gender balance on its board and progress has been made on all parts of the federation working in cohesion to achieve strategic outcomes. The board completed an ASC-facilitated board evaluation and should continue to implement the recommendations. Basketball should also work towards adopting national unified behaviours.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (men)

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (women)

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games (men)

Medal target: 0

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total Y

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games (women)

Medal target: 1 (did not qualify)

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Bowls

Total investment 2016-17: $1,390,996 (high performance: $667,200; participation $650,000 and other $73,796)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 20% 

The Bowls Australia team enjoyed its most successful world tournament campaign abroad with four gold, two silver and one bronze medal from eight disciplines at the world bowls championship, a 34-nation quadrennial event in Christchurch in December 2016.

For the second world championships in a row, all members of the women’s team secured a gold medal in at least one discipline, highlighted by Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch and Carla Krizanic securing gold in both the triples and fours, where they combined with Kelsey Cottrell. A stunning victory by Karen Murphy in the women’s singles will be seen by many as the highlight of the event.

The men’s team was narrowly pipped for the best performed nation across men’s disciplines, by the host- nation New Zealand. Australia finished with one gold in the men’s event, courtesy of Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson in the men’s pairs, two silver in the men’s triples and fours and a bronze in the men’s singles.

The Bowls Australia high performance program continues to make significant progress in improving its daily training environment and culture. Competition for places in the Jackeroos squad is becoming increasingly intense with a priority placed on exposing the next group of athletes to international competition. Bowls Australia conducted an extensive high performance review in August 2016 with key recommendations  now being implemented across the network with the engagement of key stakeholders.

While the world championships were successful, the team is still looking for improvement. Consistency, applying and executing structured game plans and mental resilience continue to be priorities. These along with other skill sets will be a major focus in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Governance commentary

Bowls Australia has been proactive in adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, and performs well when benchmarked against Australia’s Winning Edge sports. It completed board education and evaluations through a whole-of-sport governance review in 2016, and has made good use of tools such as a skills matrix to consistently assess governance gaps in the organisation. Bowls should review its anti-doping, sports science and sports medicine policies as part of a wider review of the sports integrity measures.

2016 Benchmark event // World Championships

Medal target: 4-7

Actual: gold 4 silver 2 bronze 1 total 7

Boxing

Total investment 2016-17: $857,500 (high performance: $807,500; participation $50,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 68% 

Australian athletes won two medals (in non-Olympic divisions) in 2016 at the Women’s World Championships, a gold medal at the 2016 World Youth Championships and there were strong medal performances at a number of other quality international events. Unfortunately, outside medal prospects at the 2016 Olympic Games were not realised.

Australia had three competitors at the 2016 Olympic Games, however performance outcomes were slightly below expected with all athletes unable to progress beyond the round of 16.

Boxing Australia’s female athlete cohort is stronger and deeper than it has been previously, however, challenges remain in keeping male boxers in the sport following Olympic or Commonwealth Games campaigns.

The daily performance environments of key athletes are highly variable, with some in need of enhancement to deliver the performance support necessary to achieve high performance outcomes. Significant work has been completed in the pathways area with Boxing Australia-led state-based talent identification programs and increased camps-based activity delivered through the AIS.

Positive competition outcomes have been achieved over the Rio Olympic four-year cycle with two gold and one silver medal achieved at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s first ever female world championship medals achieved in 2016 (in non-Olympic divisions) and three athletes qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games through Asia. Junior and youth world championship medal outcomes were also achieved, most recently a gold at the 2016 World Youth Championships.

Governance commentary

Boxing Australia has continued to work towards adopting the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has increased engagement with stakeholders around the planning and review process for strategic matters in the last 12 months. Boxing needs to improve the gender balance of its board and should continue to achieve greater compliance with the principles pertaining to board composition and operation.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: N

Canoeing

Total investment 2016-17: $4,997,500 (high performance: $4,465,000; high performance — para $225,000; participation $200,000; other $107,500)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 75%

Canoeing achieved the lower end of its Rio Olympic targets with two bronze medals — one in slalom, (Jess Fox) and the other in sprint (men’s K2 1000m).

In sprint the men’s K 1000 paddlers featured strongly, recording bronze in the K2 and two top-eight finishes in men’s K4 and K1. Other top-eight results came from the women’s K2 500 and men’s K1 200. The K2 500 crew is young and had under-23 success earlier in the cycle.

Para-canoe exceeded its predictions of winning three medals as a new addition to the Paralympic program. Curtis McGrath won gold in a new boat class, Amanda Reynolds won silver and Susan Seipel won bronze. Jocelyn Neumueller also finished fifth after qualifying later in the cycle.

Australian Canoeing restructured its high performance department post Rio, recruiting a new performance director but maintaining key coaches.

The AIS has heavily supported the national centre of excellence performance support area with substantial joint funding from Australian Canoeing. Beyond the support provided at Pizzey Park and Penrith, other NIN program support has been provided in SA and WA, with individual athlete support in Tasmania and Victoria.

In talent pathways, canoeing aims to create and source competitions closer to Australia, at a time that allows longer-term preparation for developing athletes. In slalom the domestic competition base is hampered by only having one world class facility in Penrith.

Para-canoe has progressively strengthened, winning an increasing number of medals at the world level.

Governance commentary

Over the past 12 months, Australian Canoeing has gone through significant board renewal and continues to achieve a strong gender balance on the board. Further to this, the board has undertaken an evaluation and is working through the recommendations detailed in the report. Canoeing should continue to develop elements of their integrity framework, specifically education, training and development of key policies.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 2-4

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 2 total 2

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 0-2

Actual: gold 1 silver 1 bronze 1 total 3

Cricket (women's)

Total investment (Cricket Australia) 2016-17: $1,134,249 (high performance: $197,749; participation $712,500; other: $224,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: Less than 1% 

The Australian Women’s Cricket Team did not achieve its benchmark event target for 2016, defeated by the West Indies in the final of the T20 World Cup Final. However, the team continues to produce results at major tournaments, a testament to the improved culture and leadership within the group.

Team preparation leading into the T20 World Cup was excellent with the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League season and playing India at home and New Zealand away for three matches. Match strategy and the execution of game tactics are areas for ongoing focus.

Over the four-year cycle, the women’s team achieved its goal of becoming the No. 1 ranked team in the three forms of women’s cricket by winning the Ashes Series against England in 2015 while it was also T20 World Cup champions and one-day international world champions.

Matthew Mott was appointed head coach for the Ashes series after the highly regarded and successful Cathryn Fitzpatrick moved to an elite development pathway role. Cricket Australia’s greater investment in underpinning state programs are showing results with young quality athletes coming through the athlete pathway and increased numbers across junior programs. There are still concerns on the ability of batters being able to play against quality spin bowling however, specific camps conducted at the centre of excellence and in Sri Lanka are improving this skillset. The average age of the team is 24 with two players over 30 in the team, auguring well for the next four to six years as the younger players in the squad gain experience.

Cricket Australia’s introduction of player contracts through this cycle has enabled athletes to transition into the full-time domain enabling a greater development pathway and work, training and life balance.

Governance commentary

When benchmarked against Australia’s Winning Edge sports, Cricket Australia is performing well against the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Cricket has implemented the required systems and process relating to anti-doping, anti-match-fixing, sports science and sports medicine. To achieve greater compliance with the principles, Cricket would need to make some limited changes to its constitution.

2016 Benchmark event // Women's Twenty20 World Cup

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 0 total 1

Cycling

Total investment 2016-17 (Cycling Australia): $8,823,667 (high performance: $6,793,925; high performance – para $1,107,394; participation $450,000; other $472,348)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 43% 

A strong performance at the April World Championships in both 2015 and 2016 in the Olympic disciplines, with a sub-optimal performance at Rio, highlights a need to look at the competition peaking strategy.

Cycling Australia has identified a number of areas to be addressed, and appointed a new high performance director to help turn the strong performances throughout the cycle into an outcome at the Olympic/Paralympic Games.

The Paralympic program continued to present strong results and performed well over the year. The program continued to operate effectively with well-planned, organised leadership and strong team morale and culture.

Cycling Australia had limited opportunity to invest additional funds into the high performance program resulting in some identified resource gaps needed to achieve results. The ASC/AIS and Cycling are collaborating closely to address this issue.

After strong results in preceding world championships, the Rio results at the Olympic Games across track, road, BMX and mountain bike were disappointing. Some unfortunate crashes and technical failures at the Games, and poorly timed sickness just prior to Rio, contributed to the overall Olympic results.

Rio highlights include the silver medal in the Men’s Team Pursuit and Anna Meares competing in her fourth and final Olympic appearance in Rio, as she finished her storied Olympic career with a sixth medal (bronze) in Olympic competition while also becoming the first Australian athlete to win a medal at four Olympic Games.

In BMX, strong performances in the preliminary rounds did not translate into the final. Some technical errors overshadowed the early speed shown in the preliminaries. There were hopes of top 10 finishes in the mountain bike race but mechanical issues and pre-existing illness affected these opportunities.

In contrast, the Paralympic program was slightly below its gold medal targets and slightly above the overall medal targets. As with the Olympic program, there were some near misses and some room for improvement.

Governance commentary

Cycling Australia is progressing well with its governance reform and has been working to make changes that will achieve greater compliance with the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has continued to work with stakeholders in the planning and review process for strategic direction. Cycling needs to continue working towards adopting unified behaviours. Cycling Australia would benefit from conducting an external board evaluation to complement the internal self-assessment process conducted by the board.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 5-7

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 1 total 2

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 9-11

Actual: gold 3 silver 7 bronze 3 total 13

Diving

Total investment 2016-17: $2,238,195 (high performance: $2,091,195; participation: $50,000; other: $97,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 80% 

In Rio, Diving won a bronze medal in the 3m women synchro pair (Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith), achieving the lower end of their Rio medal targets. This performance was backed up with fifth placings by female divers Keeney (3m) and Melissa Wu (10m), plus a sixth from Esther Qin (3m).

During 2016, Diving Australia continued to operate and support three national training centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide and development training centres in Melbourne and Perth. These centres are well supported by local state and territory institutes and academies of sport, and state associations. This strategy has worked well with all five centres strongly contributing to the Australian Olympic Team and its excellent results.

The five centres increased the number and level of athletes especially in the talent pathway area as new athletes now have improved access to world class coaches. The alignment of these centres will be enhanced by the recent appointment of former USA diving performance director Steve Foley to the role of general manager — performance and pathways. Diving has also recruited coach Adrian Hinchliffe — who coached Britain’s gold medal-winning men’s 3m synchro team in Rio — to lead the Brisbane program.

The AIS-funded Spin to Win program involved talent transfer from Gymnastics Australia and continues to strengthen Diving’s athlete pathways. This initiative is an excellent example of innovation and cross- collaboration between sports for the greater good of Australian sport.

Diving Australia believes the athlete cohort for Tokyo is stronger than post London, with emerging medal-winning young athletes maturing. Similarly, Australia has strong potential in the possible inclusion of mixed synchro and/or high diving for Tokyo.

Governance commentary

Diving Australia is progressing with its governance reform and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has undertaken a board evaluation in the previous 12 months and has implemented key recommendations involving board composition and operation to better align with the principles. Diving should continue to finalise the composition of the audit and risk committee and work towards greater compliance with sports science and sports medicine principles.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 1 total 1

Equestrian

Total investment 2016-17: $3,122,913 (high performance: $2,115,913; high performance – para: $475,000; participation: $450,000; other: $82,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 45% 

In 2016, the Equestrian Australia high performance program continued to improve as it implemented changes following the 2014 World Equestrian Games. There was a shift in focus in the Olympic program towards eventing and competing in the Nations Cup that positively influenced performances.

Equestrian met its Rio Olympic medal target by winning a bronze medal in team eventing. However, an inability to meet medal targets at the Paralympics highlighted the growing international focus and continued improvement of competitor nations. During the cycle there was considerable focus on improving combinations’ performances. While these did improve, they did not result in medals. The best Paralympics result was fourth by Lisa Martin on First Famous.

Significant shifts over the four-year cycle have led to better high performance practices, including the introduction of new athlete and equine-management practices. A focus on establishing a professional team culture saw positive results at events before and during the Rio Games.

The establishment of a structure that identifies future athletes has commenced well but it will need refinement and full implementation during the Tokyo cycle.

Governance commentary

Equestrian Australia is progressing towards meeting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. A high priority is to develop robust financial reporting systems and processes to ensure management and the board are receiving timely and accurate financial information. Equestrian should continue to work towards implementing the recommendations highlighted during an external board evaluation conducted in 2016.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 1 total 1

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1-3

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Football (Soccer - Matildas)

Total investment 2016-17 (Football Federation Australia): $2,912,788 (high performance: $1,902,868; participation $950,000; other $59,920)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 3% 

The Australian women’s team, the Matildas, enjoyed a very successful period under head coach Alen Stajcic, having qualified for the Rio Olympics for the first time in 12 years. This was the first time the team qualified through the tough Asia Confederation, finishing top of the table at the Asia Olympic Qualifying Tournament in March. At the Games they reached the quarter-finals but lost to Brazil in a sudden-death penalty shootout.

The program continues to make significant progress from a tactical, technical and physical perspective. The 2016 Olympic campaign was supported with additional funding that enabled the squad to assemble in Canberra for an additional four camps prior to departing for their pre-Olympic camp in Fortaleza.

There have been significant changes to the Matildas’ high performance program, including: a focus on greater integration and buy-in of the national program within the women’s national league coaches and programs; a national direction regarding sports science sports medicine servicing and support; and an increased focus on a competitive international competition program to expose the squad and developing athletes to quality opposition.

Over the four-year cycle, the squad has been able to challenge the world’s top teams. It achieved its highest-ever world ranking of a senior national team, fifth, and currently sits at No. 6 post Olympic Games.

Governance commentary

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has updated its constitution to enable greater compliance with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It continues to perform strongly with integrity matters and may wish to further strengthen the support it provides to affiliated football bodies with their respective education and training programs that underpin the national integrity framework. FFA will undertake a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

Golf

Total investment 2016-17: $1,634,500 (high performance: $959,500; participation $650,000; other: $25,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 11% 

The targeted result for the men’s team at the Rio Olympics was not achieved, with withdrawals from potential gold medallists Jason Day and Adam Scott. Marcus Fraser finished tied for fifth, far exceeding the expectations based on his pre-event world ranking.

The women’s team was competitive and came close to a podium finish. Minjee Lee was a strong final- round performer making several back-nine birdies to push into medal contention however finished tied seventh. Su Oh was also in the medal mix with a few holes to play.

Golf Australia and its partners worked hard to allow the athletes to prepare and recover for the Olympic Games as they would for a normal major championship. Team leader Ian Baker-Finch’s decision to arrive early and study the golf course provided the athletes and caddies a complete understanding of how to best prepare during the practice rounds. Ian’s experience also helped several times off the golf course with athletes reaching out for advice on handling pressure and media commitments during the tournament.

While Golf Australia’s ranking has moved to on track, the program continues to provide an exceptional pathway for prospective future professional athletes and is the envy of major competitors. It continues to provide national squad athletes with exposure and the support required to compete on the professional circuit. Over the past four years Golf Australia’s Winning Edge athletes continued to have a major presence on the USPGA and LPGA Tour. Jason Day climbed to a world No. 1 ranking after securing his first Major — The USPGA Championship in 2015. In 2016 he secured three wins on the PGA Tour including the unofficial fifth major The Players Championship. Adam Scott has climbed back into the top 10 rankings.

Golf Australia’s Rookie Squad member Minjee Lee has continued her rise in the women’s world rankings, currently 14th after securing two tournament victories since turning professional in late 2014.

Golf Australia continues to invest in its national and rookie squads with promising results from these athletes across the amateur and professional ranks. Australian Squad member Curtis Luck is Australia’s leading amateur with a world ranking of No. 2 after winning the US Amateur title and along with fellow Australian team members Cameron Davis, Brett Coletta and Anthony Quayle, secured the Eisenhour Trophy for the World Amateur Teams title.

Governance commentary

Golf Australia is performing well in adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has had significant engagement with stakeholders to develop the strategic direction for the sport. The nominations committee has been operating well using a documented skills matrix that is regularly updated. Golf Australia would benefit from conducting a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-2

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: N

Gymnastics

Total investment 2016-17: $3,154,322 (high performance: $2,254,322; participation $816,000; other $84,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 28% 

2016 was a challenging year for Gymnastics Australia. Australia’s inability to qualify a women’s artistic team or any men’s artistic individuals for the Rio Olympic Games was disappointing, and below the sport’s expectations.

Throughout the past Olympic cycle, Australia has been unable to keep pace with the significant improvement in the international standard of gymnastics performance. In an attempt to address this, Gymanstics undertook a number of initiatives, including the centralisation of the men’s program into Canberra and a change in management model with State Institute partners.

Prior to the Rio Olympics, Gymnastics undertook an independent review of its high performance program. The Gymnastics Australia board accepted the report from the independent review, which focussed on raising the quality of coaching and building the capability of clubs to produce world-class athletes. Gymnastics has commenced a significant refreshing of its coaching and leadership team, including the appointment of an internationally renowned women’s national coach, and revised national strategy to prioritise high performance coaching and club development.

During 2016, Gymnastics concentrated on redesigning the national approach to high performance program, with a change of focus to emphasise the development of both coach capability and athlete resilience for the Tokyo cycle and beyond. A key objective for the cycle is to transition to a club-based model for the provision of the daily performance environment for world-class athletes. The cycle will also see new people in key leadership positions, including national performance director, women’s national coach (appointed February 2017), and the head coaches of both the Perth (appointed January 2017) and Melbourne (appointed May 2017) national centres of excellence.

Governance commentary

Gymnastics Australia is performing well in adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has updated its constitution to address the minimum number of board meetings and CEO appointment to the board. Gymnastics has made significant progress in adopting and implementing the anti-doping principles, however further work needs to be done to become compliant with the sports science and sports medicine principles. Gymnastics is conducting a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: N

Hockey

Total investment 2016-17: $6,287,000 (high performance: $5,548,000; participation $650,000; other $89,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 60% 

2016 was a disappointing year for both men’s and women’s hockey. A combination of on and off-field issues negatively affected performance outcomes. A Post-Rio Olympic review identified key strategic items which need to be addressed and which are now being implemented. Key areas include leadership, coaching and the athlete cohort, and have already resulted in significant changes.

Long-term development of the athlete cohort is to be revisited to ensure there is a sufficient critical mass of senior players (aged 20–30) available to keep pressure on national teams, and not lost to the high performance program. This will require a revision to hockey’s athlete categorisation model.

The performance of the men’s team, the Kookaburras, in Rio was below expectations, losing the quarter- final to the Netherlands. This result was despite the team’s on-field successes during the 24 months preceding the Rio Olympics.

Despite the Olympic result, the men’s team retained the world No. 1 ranking, having won the 2014 World Cup, four Champions Trophy Tournaments over the cycle, World Series League gold medals, as well as the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal. A focus on building squad depth in the two years before the games by giving younger players greater exposure led to inconsistent performances but this was expected to benefit the Rio campaign.

The performance of the women’s team, the Hockeyroos, in Rio was significantly below expectations, losing the quarter-final to New Zealand. Injury concerns around key athletes during the final year of preparation interrupted final team selection and preparations.

Over the four-year cycle leading up to Rio, the women’s team improved their world ranking from fifth to a high of second, and being ranked third immediately prior to the Olympic Games.

Governance commentary

Hockey Australia continues to progress well towards adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It has had significant engagement with stakeholders in the monitoring and review of the strategic plan, which has further improved strategic alignment with state plans. Following the recent AGM, Hockey Australia needs to continue towards adopting national unified behaviours and would also benefit from conducting a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (men)

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (women)

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

Judo

Total investment 2016-17: $709,410 (high performance: $634,410; participation $75,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 60%

The Judo Federation of Australia (JFA) engaged a head coach and high performance administrator in part-time roles before and after the Rio Olympic Games. This enabled program management of Judo’s categorised athletes and planning for key events, including the Games.

Results and development of underpinning pathway athletes in 2016 have been positive, with a number of medal and top-eight outcomes achieved in recent tours. Work has also begun with the AIS to develop a national pathways framework for the sport.

A team of seven athletes aged 18–24 travelled to Rio, all competing in their first Olympic Games. They achieved three top-16 performances but no athlete performed above expectations.

Decision-making under duress needs to be developed as well as an ability to impose their style of judo against other athletes.

Following recommendations coming out of an ASC-led governance review, Judo employed its first CEO in 2014, with the current CEO appointed in 2015. There has also been a broadening skill mix transitioned onto the JFA board.

Shifts in the high performance leadership have been less pronounced, but enhancements have been made through changes to the broader organisation. The young team, doubled with the recent positive international results for pathways athletes, bodes well for future campaigns.

While there are capable club coaches across the country, there was no specific technical lead in Australia until December 2015. This, combined with a lack of non-technical high performance leadership capacity created ongoing challenges throughout the four-year cycle regarding the program management of key athletes. While increased centralised camp activity has created stimulus to the athlete cohort, the isolated training environments outside of these camps remains a challenge for many key athletes.

Governance commentary

The Judo Federation of Australia has improved its compliance with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, as a result of an increased focus on governance. It has recently completed the transition to a company limited by guarantee and a new constitution. It has also undergone significant board renewal resulting in greater gender balance and diversity on the board. Judo would benefit from undertaking a board evaluation in 2017 and continuing to develop its integrity framework, with particular attention to the training and education underpinning its policy documents.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: N

Netball

Total investment 2016-17: $3,090,000 (high performance: $2,065,000; participation $950,000; other $75,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 11% 

Netball Australia has again excelled in the delivery of its high performance program. 2016 was a mid- cycle year for the Diamonds during which new athletes, combinations and strategies were trialled. The year began with a successful tour to England and culminated in a comprehensive series win over New Zealand in the Constellation Cup.

2016 was also a significant year off the court with a restructure of the domestic competition with the creation of Suncorp Super Netball and the introduction of club ownership from outside the traditional netball community. This transition is likely to present the Diamonds program with challenges in terms of athlete preparation and servicing however, Netball Australia is being proactive in its engagement with the various franchises to minimise the impact on international preparation and performance.

The netball program has maintained consistent high level performance throughout the past four- year performance cycle. Netball Australia now holds every major trophy for events in which they have competed, including gold medals at the major benchmark events, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Netball World Cup.

The sport has shown a willingness to utilise new technology and data to maintain its competitive position. Netball has demonstrated effective leadership at every level from board, executive, coaching and support staff and through strong athlete leadership has developed a great performance based culture at Diamonds level.

Governance commentary

Netball Australia is performing well in adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles and demonstrates best practice for governance in many areas, including the operation of its nominations committee and audit committee, board performance evaluation, and annual reporting. Netball Australia should address the dual roles of chair and president in the constitution and continue to focus on the overall sport alignment.

2016 Benchmark event // Constellation Cup

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 1

Olympic Winter Institute of Australia

Total investment 2016-17: $2,691,069 (high performance: $2,573,645; other $117,424)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 63%

The Olympic Winter Institute of Australia’s (OWIA’s) main requirements to support its senior high performance programs are now in place, including support from the National Institute Network and high-quality coaching for medal potential athletes in all key snow sport disciplines.

The new Thredbo acrobatic centre is operational and benefiting athletes in the freestyle sport programs.

The ‘Spin to Win’ talent transfer project has unearthed arguably the best and most consistent range of entry level talent of any freestyle talent identification project. The challenge for Ski and Snowboard Australia and the OWIA is how to continue this program into the future. There is also a risk that limited resourcing will hamper support for pathway athletes.

The key athletes achieved their objectives in 2016, with results in nominated world cup events at the top end of the target range. This set up an outstanding 2016–17 season in which Australian athletes won five world championship medals and a record 34 world cup medals in Olympic disciplines. The challenge is to continue this good momentum over the coming months leading into the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

Governance commentary

The OWIA is in the process of significant constitutional reform, which will enable greater compliance with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles particularly around the board composition and operational principles. It would benefit from undertaking a board evaluation in 2017 and continuing to develop its integrity framework with particular attention given to the training and education that underpins its policy documents.

2016 Benchmark event // Various world cup events

Medal target: 1-3

Actual: gold 1 silver 1 bronze 1 total 3

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

Rugby 7s

Total investment (Australian Rugby Union) 2016-17:$1,960,750 (high performance: $1,026,250; participation $650,000; other $284,500)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 3% 

The women’s 7s program achieved its aspiration winning gold at the sport’s Olympic debut in Rio having won the 2016 world rugby series. The men’s program finished eighth in Rio, their performance hampered by losing key players to injury in the pool stages.

The 7s program has evolved from being camps based and moving to a centralised program for 20+ contracted players of each gender. It now has a clearer view on what is needed to refine and improve to be more successful in Tokyo. The player group has been reasonably stable, with some additions from the national emerging and youth programs incorporating talent ID, training camps and the new national championships.

Following the Rio campaign the men’s program lost five senior players which will require the 7s team to re-build for the 2017–18 season and possibly the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup. However, there has been considerable change in staff to the men’s program including five different head coaches.

There has been continuity of women’s coaching and management staff. This tightknit team, supported by others, has developed their women’s 7s knowledge quickly to stay ahead of other countries, seeking information from other codes and countries.

The introduction of Rugby 7s to the Olympic Games has added interest to rugby around the world resulting in the rapid development of knowhow, with more countries centralising their national teams and creating local competitions. European teams have a distinct advantage with regional competition structures developed to give exposure to a wider squad of players. Oceania lags behind and competition exposure for developing younger players is a concern. ARU 7s will deliver a university-based women’s tournament for about eight teams in 2017 with support from University Sport, to be followed by a men’s later in the 
cycle.

Governance commentary

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is largely compliant with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Over the previous 12 months, it has updated its constitution to embed a minimum of five board meetings per year and the CEO cannot be appointed to the board within three years of leaving the role. The ARU continues to perform strongly with integrity matters and has developed a robust integrity framework underpinned by sound education and training programs. It should look to appoint an external and independent chartered accountant or certified practising accountant to the Audit and Risk Committee.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (men)

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (women)

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 1

Sailing

Total investment 2016-17:$8,740,921 (high performance: $7,465,021; high performance — para $634,500; participation $546,400; other $95,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 59% 

Once again, the Australian Sailing Team delivered a very strong overall performance at the 2016 Olympic Games with four medals from seven events. The team won one gold and three silver medals and recorded two top 10 finishes.

The three lead coaches of the team provide leadership and direction to their athletes and other up-and-coming coaches with the program. The commitment of these coaches in their pursuit of success sets a great platform for all 10 Olympic classes.

Despite fewer overall gold medals in Rio compared to London, the four medals were considered to be on track. Australia won the most medals of any sailing nation and four Olympic rookies won medals, showing both the relative strength of the program and a viable pathway for developing athletes.

The preparation and work done by the wider team to gather the information on Rio weather, tides and environment contributed to the team’s overall performances.

Governance commentary

Australian Sailing is largely compliant with the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Over the previous 12 months it has undertaken significant governance and business reform, improved the gender balance of its board and has introduced reporting bands of administration expenses including key management personnel. Australian Sailing would benefit from undertaking a board evaluation in 2017 and continue to develop its integrity framework, with particular attention given to the training and education that underpins its policy documents.

 

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 3-5

Actual: gold 1 silver 3 bronze 0 total 4

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1-3

Actual: gold 2 silver 1 bronze 0 total 3

Shooting

Total investment 2016-17: $2,500,250 (high performance: $1,960,000; high performance - para $280,250; participation $200,000; other $60,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 71% 

The Olympic program maintained its rating in 2016 by winning an Olympic gold medal with Catherine Skinner in the women’s trap (shotgun) event. It was an event the sport had identified at the start of the cycle. The Paralympic program did not achieve any medals and as a result the overall rating of this program has been downgraded from 2015.

The top priority following the conclusion of the cycle was the establishment of national centres in    both Melbourne and Adelaide in partnership with the Victorian Institute of Sport and South Australian Sports Institute. These centres have commenced operation and good alignment between partners currently exists.

The recruitment of a national shot gun coach was a high priority after the Games and Adam Vella has been appointed to this position. Shotgun is the priority discipline with a targeted approach being taken in other areas to ensure the best athletes are supported to achieve results in other disciplines.

The performances of Olympic shooters in 2016 demonstrated a continuation of the strong progress that had been achieved over the previous three years. Other significant achievements by shooters in 2016 included Olympic finals for Laetisha Scanlan (women’s trap) and James Willett (men’s double trap). Laetisha was the highest ranked athlete going in to the finals and finished fifth, and James was the youngest finalist by 10 years and also finished fifth.

Shooting has identified a number of emerging elite athletes for the future. Shooting’s ongoing challenge will be to continue to change the culture of the sport, unwind entrenched conventions and increase depth of athletic and coaching talent.

Despite a number of promising top-eight performances throughout the Rio cycle, the sport was unable to convert these into medal results at the Paralympic Games.

Governance commentary

Shooting Australia (SA) continues to perform strongly against the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. This year it has increased its already strong gender balance on its board. Shooting showed strong leadership by embarking on reforming the governance of the sport, and with the support of the ASC, the shooting disciplines have commenced working with each other for whole-of-sport outcomes. The continued implementation of this reform is imperative for long-term sustained success of Shooting in Australia. SA needs to prioritise the development of its integrity framework; with particular focus on the sports science and sports medicine principles and the training and education programs that underpin these policies.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 1

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Ski and Snowboard

Total investment 2016-17: $2,120,078 (high performance: $767,600; high performance - para $934,478; participation $325,000; other $93,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 81% 

The new Thredbo acrobatic centre is fully operational and benefiting athletes in the freestyle sport programs.

The ‘Spin to Win’ talent transfer project has unearthed arguably the best and most consistent range of entry level talent of any freestyle talent identification project. The challenge for Ski and Snowboard Australia and the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia is how to continue this program once funding ceases. There is also a risk that limited resourcing has opened gaps in the support of pathway athletes.

The key athletes achieved their objectives in 2016, with results in nominated world cup events at the top end of the target range. This set up an outstanding 2016–17 season in which Australian athletes won five World Championship medals and a record 34 World Cup medals in Olympic disciplines. The challenge is to continue this good momentum over the coming months leading into the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

In Paralympic disciplines the total medal results exceeded the top end of the target range. These performances continued into 2016–17 season in which alpine skier Mitchell Gourley won the men’s standing super-combined world title and snowboarder Joany Badenhorst won two world championship bronze medals.

Governance commentary

Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) has addressed a number of principles pertaining to the board composition and operation, including improving the gender balance of the board and the members of the Audit and Risk Committee. Further updates to their constitution, including the maximum terms for directors, would result in further compliance with the principles. SSA would benefit from undertaking an externally facilitated board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Various world cup events

Medal target: 1-3

Actual: gold 1 silver 1 bronze 1 total 3

2016 Benchmark event // Various para world cup events

Medal target: 1-3

Actual: gold 0 silver 3 bronze 3 total 6

Squash

Total investment 2016-17: $765,000 (high performance: $530,000; participation $200,000; other $35,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 49% 

Squash Australia continues to make improvements in its high performance program and pathway with improved leadership and focus on elite athlete development.

The appointment of a high performance manager provided an opportunity for the role to drive and direct its elite program.

Squash Australia accepts the need for more specialisation in the doubles game as it changes with world ranked players playing an increasing role in major competitions. Squash Australia is confident player depth will enable it to achieve its targets at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

At the 2016 World Doubles Championships the men’s double pairing of Ryan Cuskelly and Cameron Pilley were No. 1 seeds, however lost the semi-final to New Zealand. While Rachael Grinham and Donna Urquhart took the silver medal after beating the top seeded Indian pair in the semi-final.

Squash Australia believes it has the players to win gold in all three disciplines at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. To achieve this, the sport has implemented a two-year plan for doubles preparation, built on a performance analysis library of doubles combination from the most recent doubles world championships and recognised the need for Australia’s older players to specialise in one event to maximise medal potential.

Governance commentary

Squash has actioned a number of recommendations from the previous sports performance review including conducting a board evaluation and updating the constitution to detail that the CEO cannot be appointed to the board within three years of leaving the role. Further updates to the constitution, including stating the minimum number of board meetings per year, will result in further compliance with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Squash would benefit from increasing the gender balance and diversity of its board. The continued development of education and training programs that underpin the anti-match-fixing and member protection policies would also be valuable.

2016 Benchmark event // world senior women's team championship

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 3 bronze 1 total 4

Surf life saving

Total investment 2016-17: $872,749 (high performance: $197,749; participation $650,000; other $25,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 1%

Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) athlete quality and depth continues to grow, evidenced by the victory of the Australian Youth Team at the 2016 world youth championships and the pathway team winning the SANYO cup (Surf Specific) in Japan. Unfortunately, these feats were not quite matched  at the senior level with the team coming second to New Zealand at the World Championships. The Australian team was extremely young (average age of 19) with five of the 12 athletes stepping up from the 2014 youth team.

The sport’s leadership and team management structure and staffing has changed following the review conducted at the completion of the 2016 world championships.

SLSA continues to review its squad to better balance its team across the 41 events conducted at world championships. It has made significant inroads to address the challenge of the pool events (which comprise more than half the events in the world championships) through a better-balanced squad and through the prioritisation and growth of the domestic pool-rescue competition format.

The sport has recognised the need for a more tailored approach to addressing its current shortfall in pool rescue competition opportunities and is working to further establish a domestic product specifically in this area. SLSA is also working with Swimming Australia to benefit from the expertise they can provide to the pool rescue environment.

Significant talent transfer opportunities remain to play an enhanced pathways role for sports such as canoeing and swimming. This has been demonstrated with a targeted talent transfer project with Australian Canoeing called the Next Wave Project.

Governance commentary

Surf Life Saving Australia is progressing with its governance reform and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. While making significant progress regarding member protection, it will need to continue to work on its sports science and sports medicine framework.

2016 Benchmark event // Lifesaving world championships

Medal target: 1

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 0 total 1

Surfing

Total investment 2016-17: $1,567,900 (high performance: $925,000; participation $450,000; other $192,900)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 25% 

Australian surfing continued to deliver strong international performances in 2016. The announcement of inclusion in the Olympic Games was very exciting news for the sport, and planning is well underway.

The benchmark event is the annual WSL competition which is a series of events and the overall standing at the end of the year decides the world title.

Wright was dominant in the women’s WSL clinching her maiden world title in 2016 winning five out 10 events. At just 22 years old she is well positioned to continue this form over the next few years leading into Tokyo. Overall there were 13 podium finishes throughout the year from five female athletes with Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Laura Enever all finishing in the top 10.

The men were unable to reach the podium in the overall world title ranking but had 14 podium finishes throughout the year from eight athletes, and three of those athletes Matt Wilkinson, Julian Wilson and Joel Parkinson finished in the top 10.

There is strong leadership in place and with entry now confirmed to the Tokyo Olympics, this presents both a significant opportunity and challenge to staff.

Innovation is core of the sports philosophy and is limited only by resource and time. There is strong evidence of Surfing Australia working collaboratively with other sports in this area and in the increasing use of skate ramp facilities and wave pools.

Governance commentary

Surfing has made significant progress on becoming more compliant with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, particularly around board composition and operation. The sport has undertaken a board evaluation and increased the gender balance on the board, and should continue to focus on developing its sports science and sports medicine framework.

2016 Benchmark event // ASP Tour

Medal target: 2-3

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 1

Swimming

Total investment 2016-17: $11,028,787 (high performance: $8,320,285; high performance - para $1,888,502; participation $650,000; other $170,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 44% 

The implementation of the Swimming Australia review has had a positive impact, generating an improvement in results. At the Rio Olympic Games, Australia finished second on the medal tally compared with its seventh place finish in London. With a return of a strong culture, the focus is now on improving performance execution to deliver at benchmark events, particularly the Olympics. At the Paralympic Games, Australia finished fifth on the medal tally with a young group of athletes.

Key leadership staff have been reappointed as the sport heads into the Tokyo cycle, providing stability and direction across nine podium centres in order to drive quality of coaching, embedded performance support, and improved facility access.

Swimming is progressing relationships with several universities and intends to invest in developing greater capacity to enhance data management to enable more evidence-based decision making.

Swimming achieved its performance target at the Rio Olympic Games, winning three gold medals, including two individual gold medals.

Despite finishing second on the medal tally, Australia performed below the level projected based on 2015 performances. Considering the preparation, there were opportunities missed and a number of performances fell below expectations. The conversion rate of Olympic finalists into medallists, as well as individual performance times between Olympic trials and Olympic finals, will be reviewed.

At the Paralympics, the total 29 medals was within the targeted total Australia’s Winning Edge performance range, with the nine gold medals inclusive of three new world records, just below the gold medal target of 11–15. This was the largest team ever sent to a Paralympic Games indicating significant depth of talent.

Access to competition has been satisfactory but further development is required into the next cycle to address gaps identified between trials and benchmark events.

Governance commentary

Swimming Australia has had considerable engagement with stakeholders to build a stronger whole-of- sport strategy, and continues to perform strongly regarding integrity matters. In order to achieve greater compliance with the principles, swimming would need to adopt constitutional change detailing that a former CEO cannot join the board for three years after leaving their position.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (including open water swim)

Medal target: 9-11

Actual: gold 9 silver 4 bronze 3 total 10

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 28-32

Actual: gold 9 silver 10 bronze 10 total 29

Table Tennis

Total investment 2016-17: $780,967 (high performance: $250,350; high performance - para $290,000; participation $200,000; other $40,617).

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 51% 

Both the Olympic and Paralympic programs achieved their Rio Games performance targets, with two top 16 results at the Olympics and a silver medal in the Paralympics (Sam von Einem).

In 2016 table tennis conducted a thorough review of its high performance program, the outcomes of which included a rationalisation of the program’s leadership structure. From January 2017 the program moved to a single high performance director who has responsibility for both the Olympic and Paralympic programs through to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. At the same time the coaching structure in the Olympic program has been reorganised to ensure an increased focus on supporting  the key 2018 athletes.

Table tennis continued to make progress in the development of its para high performance program during the 2013–2016 cycle. The program is now working well across key areas and is focused on growing its opportunities for capturing new athletes. This includes ongoing work with the Australian Paralympic Committee on athlete profiling and identification.

The Paralympic program also made good use of its newly developed Virtual Interactive Training and Education System to link the national para coaching and performance services team with home coaches. The use of this system is be broadened to include the Olympic program in 2017.

Governance commentary

Table Tennis Australia has continued to work towards adopting the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, however it must continue to adopt constitutional reform to include a chair elected by the board, maximum terms for directors and having independent directors. The sport is performing well against the integrity principles, however would benefit from the development of education and training to support key policies. Table Tennis Australia may wish to consider undertaking a board evaluation in 2017.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 1 bronze 0 total 1

Taekwondo

Total investment 2016-17: $351,004 (high performance: $351,004)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: Not applicable 

The major focus for 2016 was the Rio Olympic campaign, which delivered two top-eight placings. The team’s performance in Rio was slightly below desired results, with two athletes defeated by eventual silver medallists. In addition to these results, the Rio cycle delivered Australia’s first ever world champion with Carmen Marton winning the 62kg division at the 2013 World Championships. It also included two bronze medals at 2014 Grand Prix for Safwan Khalil.

A review conducted following the 2016 Olympic Games highlighted and reinforced a number of elements that needed to be improved in order for Australia to become a force again in taekwondo. These included the need for an independent coaching director and enhanced performance leadership capacity to support that and other key roles and athletes over an Olympic cycle.

The use of the AIS for camps-based activity, including the support provided by the AIS Combat Centre staff was a positive, with the integration of international teams a real success. However increasing the level of these centralised training opportunities, the exposure to quality international training partners and integrated performance support were identified in the review as critical elements that need further enhancement.

The sport will provide a greater focus on supporting and developing new and existing talent in the coming months, including the review of key categorisation documentation and the development of a national pathway framework.

A merger between competing entities resulted in the ASC again recognising the sport in 2014 under the name Australian Taekwondo. This allowed for recruitment of the CEO and modest high performance investment being reinstated from the 2014–15 financial year to enable support for training and competition for Australia’s priority athletes in the final stages of the 2016 Olympic Games campaign.

Governance commentary

Taekwondo is progressing with its governance and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. The organisation is continuing to progress toward ensuring all parts of the federated structure are working in cohesion and towards a single strategic direction for the sport. It would benefit from undertaking a board evaluation in 2017 and continuing to develop its integrity framework, with particular attention given to the training and education that underpins its policies.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

Triathlon

Total investment 2016-17: $2,782,000 (high performance: $2,052,000; high performance - para $225,000; participation $450,000; other: $55,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 47%

Olympic

The Rio Olympic results were below expectation with no athletes achieving a podium result. It was the first Olympic Games in which Australia has not medalled since 2000.

Looking ahead to 2018 and 2020, Triathlon Australia does have some emerging athletes who have achieved success at under-23 level. There has also been a number of changes in the sport’s leadership. An improved solution to the delivery of high performance coaching to Australian athletes has been a key focus post Rio.

Competition access, especially international is reasonable, but necessitates training in Europe for long periods and providing support in overseas locations is a challenge.

Para Triathlon

Para Triathlon made its debut in Rio achieving a gold medal through Katie Kelly.

There has been rapid growth in para triathlon, which the sport has managed well despite the late decision of the classes available in Rio. There has also been an increase in the focus on coaching by pairing each athlete with Triathlon Australia recognised coaches in either direct coaching roles or mentoring.

Accessing international or domestic racing, and daily servicing were challenges over the cycle. Athletes received support via the AIS facilities in Pizzey Park and Canberra as well as from the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane

Governance commentary

Triathlon Australia is progressing with its governance and has continued towards adopting the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It is continuing to develop and implement best practice in anti-doping, anti-match fixing and sports science and sports medicine principles. Triathlon Australia should adopt key changes to the constitution to achieve greater compliance with the principles, including the chair to be elected by the board, and that the CEO cannot be appointed to the board within three years of leaving the role.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 1-2

Actual: gold 1 silver 0 bronze 0 total 1

Volleyball

Total investment 2016-17: $2,832,000 (high performance: $2,337,000; participation $450,000; other: $45,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 32% 

Beach

Two women’s pairs qualified for Rio. The top women’s pair of Louise Bawden and Teliqua Clancy finished equal fifth, exceeding their seeding of No. 7. The second pair of Maria Fe Artacho del Solar and Nicole Laird were unseeded and finished 19th overall. Unfortunately, no men’s pairs achieved qualification for Rio.

Volleyball Australia conducted a review with all coaching and technical leadership positions advertised. The technical director/head coach position have been filled together with all other coaching positions. This represents a significant change of culture and approach.

Volleyball Australia believes the athletic talent exists within the program to return beach volleyball to the podium during the Tokyo cycle.

Indoor

The men’s indoor team had a disappointing year in 2016 and did not qualify for Rio, this is despite defeating a number of top teams in the world during the previous three years.

Volleyball Australia conducted a full review of the team performances across the Rio cycle following the conclusion of the 2016 World League. This review identified a number of issues that have resulted in structural, cultural and personnel changes including a search for, and subsequent appointment of a new head coach.

Retention of the experienced senior athletes is essential to future performance. A new player support scheme is being introduced for the Volleyroos in 2017.

Governance commentary

Volleyball Australia is progressing with its governance and has been working to make the necessary changes in line with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Volleyball Australia provides significant opportunity for stakeholder engagement through national forums and made effective use of a recent board evaluation. It should adopt key changes to the constitution to achieve greater compliance with the principles including a maximum term in office for directors to serve no longer than 10 years.

2016 Benchmark event // Beach - Olympic Games

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Indoor - Olympic Games (men)

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: N

Water Polo

Total investment 2016-17:$3,545,950 (high performance: $3,215,750; participation $200,000; other $130,200)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 56% 

The Water Polo performance for both the women and men were below expectations in Rio

Performances across the cycle suggested the programs were on track with a medal for the women; and a top-eight result for the men. The program achieved medal placings at all but one international tournament across the Olympic cycle.

The women lost the quarterfinal in Rio and the men’s team finished just outside the top eight. Both teams suffered injuries during the Olympic campaign, testing the depth of quality players in key positions.

The leadership and management of the program progressed throughout the cycle and the operations manager has positively impacted the program.

The schedule enabled athletes to experience the correct amount of international competition in the Olympic year but an increase in quality and quantity of high-pressure games is a focus for the next cycle.

Over the Rio cycle this program continued to develop new athletes in an attempt to increase the player depth with international experience in the women’s program. The introduction of a national junior program was a positive but was impacted as the Olympics neared with the junior head coach also a national assistant coach.

Governance commentary

Water Polo has improved its governance performance and performs well when benchmarked against other Australia’s Winning Edge sports. It should prioritise the need to develop a whole of sport strategic plan, improve their gender balance and focus on developing its sports science and sports medicine framework.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (men)

Medal target: 0-1

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Non-medal target: Y

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games (women)

Medal target: 0

Actual: gold 0 silver 0 bronze 0 total 0

Weightlifting

Total investment 2016-17:$412,600 (high performance: $358,519; participation $50,000; other: $4,081)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: 41% 

Weightlifting made a number of positive moves in 2016, including the implementation of an athlete management system within a decentralised environment, as well as rationalising its direct athlete investment into the athletes most likely to succeed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Weightlifting has also activated a review of its coaching structure and will look to implement key recommendations in 2017.

The sport continues to build capability in athletes leading up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Following strong performances at the Commonwealth Senior Championships in October 2016, as well as current high rankings within the Commonwealth, medal-winning performances are expected at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian Weightlifting Federation recruited experienced high performance coordinator, Brendan Kennedy, to support CEO Michael Keelan in delivering the high performance program leading into the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Weightlifting’s performances at the 2016 Olympic Games were on target with two Top 16 placings — Simplice Ribouem (94kg) — 13th and Tia-Clair Toomey (58kg) — 14th.

Governance commentary

The sport is continuing to perform well against the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. It would benefit from undertaking a board evaluation in 2017, which should incorporate a skills audit of current board members. The Australian Weightlifting Federation should continue to develop its integrity framework, with particular attention given to sports science and sports medicine, anti-match-fixing and member protection policies and the training and education that underpins these policy documents.

2016 Benchmark event // Olympic Games

Medal target: -

Non-medal target: Y

Wheelchair tennis

Total investment (Tennis Australia) 2016-17:$1,173,750 (high performance - para $261,250; participation $712,500; other $200,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: Less than 1% 

Australia had a team of five wheelchair tennis athletes at the Rio Games. The standout performances were the gold medals won by Dylan Alcott in the quad singles and Dylan and Heath Davidson in the quad doubles. These were Australia’s first Paralympic Games medals in wheelchair tennis since Athens 2004.

The sport reviewed its wheelchair tennis high performance plan in 2016, part of which explored how to grow the number of Australian athletes progressing towards world top 10. The outcome was the creation of a national para pathways manager position, and the appointment of dedicated state para coaches in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

The structure of the high performance program has now matured and is well integrated into Tennis Australia’s national strategy, with good athlete monitoring and well-developed support systems. All priority athletes have access to first class facilities and performance support services.

The program makes effective use of research and innovation opportunities such as the Australian Paralympic Committee’s seating project, for which wheelchair tennis was the pilot sport. Individually designed playing chairs were used by both Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson.

Governance commentary

Tennis Australia aligns very closely with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles and corporate governance structures and excels when benchmarked against Australia’s Winning Edge sports. In 2016 it undertook an external and independent board evaluation and will continue to implement the recommendations from that process. Tennis performs very well against the integrity principles, particularly around child and member protection. It may wish to consider introducing the disclosure of administration expenses including key management personnel in meaningful bands within its reporting.

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 0-2

Actual: gold 2 silver 0 bronze 0 total 2

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