Australian sport making strong progress
11 May 2016
AIS Director Matt Favier said Australian sport had made significant progress in the four years since London 2012 and would go into this year’s Rio Games in a much stronger position.
The AIS has released this year’s edition of Sports Tally, an annual report card of Australian sporting performance and an initiative of the nation’s new high-performance strategy, Australia’s Winning Edge 2012-22.
Favier said international results since the London Games, including 104 world championship gold medals in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, was a good sign that Australian sport was adapting well to the new strategy and that it could yield sustainable success.
Favier said the next two years would provide a solid reference point for the progress of Australia’s Winning Edge, with the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics followed in 2018 by the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“At that point we will reach halfway of what is a 10-year strategy to restore Australia’s standing as an international sporting power,” Favier said.
“Australian sport has already taken significant steps forward. The AIS and our partners are confident Australia can improve our Olympic result in Rio and reverse what has been a declining trend on the Olympic gold medal tally since 2004.
“By the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games our target would be for Australia to regain its position as the number one Commonwealth nation.
“Progressive improvement and analysis of results over the past three years give us great optimism that our sports and athletes are more aligned than ever and are on the right track for sustainable success.”
Australian Sports Commission CEO Simon Hollingsworth said Swimming Australia’s resurgence over the past three years highlighted the full power and opportunity provided by Australia’s Winning Edge strategy.
“It’s great to see Australia’s swimmers achieving fantastic international results, but Swimming Australia’s successful transformation can be measured by far more than the growing medal tally,” Hollingsworth said.
“The Australian Sports Commission and AIS has worked closely with Swimming Australia to identify and improve crucial areas of need, including a strong focus on governance, business capability and leadership.
“Swimming Australia has embraced this holistic approach and it has had a cascading influence across the organisation, boosting participation, commercial interest and athlete performance.
“The impact of Australia’s Winning Edge on swimming and other sports has been far reaching, from emerging athletes to coaches and administrators guiding their way. The progress across our entire sporting sector cannot be under-estimated.”
Other key results since the launch of Australia’s Winning Edge in November 2012 include:
• 115 world championship medals across 19 sports in summer and winter Olympic events, including 34 gold; and 194 world championship medals across 12 sports in Paralympic events, including 70 gold.
• The AIS has directly funded Olympic sports $340 million in this four-year cycle to Rio, an increase of more than 10 per cent on the similar period leading to London.
• Additionally, more than 1100 athletes have benefitted from about $41million in direct funding grants from the AIS, known as dAIS.
• The AIS has placed an emphasis on emerging talent, tracking more than 2000 athletes and monitoring athlete pathways.
• The AIS Podium Coach program has supported the professional development of more than 160 coaches and leaders, many of whom will guide athletes in Rio.
Favier said: “The clear strength of the new approach has been the overwhelming endorsement of sports. The most recent survey of sports and partners associated with Australia’s Winning Edge shows 95 per cent believe the AIS is demonstrating strong leadership of high-performance sport.
“The global sporting arena is too competitive to become complacent and the AIS will continue to refine our strategy as needed, in consultation with our partners. But we believe we are tracking well.”