ASC commits to Winning Edge principles and further reforms
01 Sep 2016
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie said the ASC remained committed to the key principles of Australia’s Winning Edge high performance strategy as the Commission looks ahead to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
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“First and foremost, the ASC celebrates the achievements and conduct of all Australian athletes and teams who represented Australia at the Rio Olympic Games,” Wylie said. “Whether or not they came home with medals, they inspired us and made Australia proud, and we salute them.
“The ASC Board has met this week and has committed unanimously to the key principles of its long term improvement plan for Australian high performance sport, Australia’s Winning Edge 2012-22.
“There is no doubt we can learn and improve from the experience of the past four years and from the Rio Olympics, but the core principles of the strategy remain sound, valid and in the long-term interests of the Australian sport sector. Importantly, we think its principles and the approach are overwhelmingly backed by sports themselves.
“Australia’s Winning Edge is built on evidence-based funding decisions, high aspirations for achievement, sports taking responsibility for their own high performance programs and improved leadership and governance in sports organisations.
“It needs to be understood that these changes strengthen sports but don’t produce results overnight.
“While Australia’s medal results in Rio were less than predicted by independent forecasting services, there were positive signs for the future. A record percentage of top-eight finishes by Australians were won by athletes under the age of 24. The vast majority of Australian athletes who won medals were supported by the ASC’s dAIS athlete incentive funding program, which shows that the ASC’s talent identification programs are working effectively.
“Although it is clear Australia is being out-spent by a number of rival countries in high-performance sport, the ASC is not citing funding as the reason for not meeting aspirations in Rio. Many factors contributed to the results, and these will be analysed intensively by ASC and AIS staff in the coming weeks with a view to future improvement. In the medium term, however, the Australian high performance sporting system will need new and deeper sources of funding if we are to remain competitive in the highest levels of international sport. This could include a new online national sports lottery.”
The ASC Board also committed this week to a range of other reforms designed to improve Australia’s sports system. These include:
o Much closer alignment between the AIS and State Institutes of Sport; and;
o The development of integrated national governance structures in our leading sports.
Wylie added: “The world of sport is becoming much more competitive globally. Rio has made it clear that in an environment where funding is likely to remain constrained for Australian sport, we have to work smarter and more collaboratively. The need to continue the work of reform has become even more compelling, even though many of these reforms are not easy to achieve and do not produce overnight success.”