I have had an opportunity to read through the the High Performance Plan, The Winning Edge, announced by the Australian Sports Commission earlier today (webcast).
A number of people have tweeted about the announcement at #winningedge.
I thought I would share some of the details of the Plan as I did with the Crawford Report.
My take on The Edge is …
High Performance (page 1) is about:
- Consistent and sustainable success for Australian athletes and teams on the world stage
- Greater levels of accountability for performance results
- Improved governance structures and contemporary reporting and monitoring of performance
- Engaging, uniting, inspiring and motivating all Australians.
Winning the Next Race (page 2)
“Our Olympic performance peaked nearly a decade ago. Since Athens in 2004 our place in the upper echelons of medal-winning nations has drifted downwards. The London Games provided clear signs that even in sports where we have had great success, there are new and re-emerging competitive challenges.”
- Winning fewer gold medals
- Winning fewer total medals
- Achieving less top-eight placings
- Below the average of the top 15 nations at the Games for conversion of top-eight placings into medals
“The other measure of sustained success — annual world champions — tells a similar story and extends beyond Olympic sports. There is a trend downwards in priority sports, with 2012 likely to be the lowest result in the last 12 years.”
2012-2022 Performance Targets (page 3)
- A top five nation at the Olympics and Paralympics
- A top fifteen nation at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics
- Number one at the Commonwealth Games
- Have more than 20 world champions annually.
The Game Plan (pages 4, 5 and 6)
- Invest for success
- Plan to perform
- Good governance and capability
- Evidence-based decisions
Priority Actions (page 8)
- Introduce a sharper, more robust national funding and accountability model.
- Help sports reduce costs/complexity and grow their capacity
- Invest dividends from efficiencies into three key areas: better direct support for athletes; greater investment in coaches and high performance personnel; renewed focus on unearthing and nurturing Australia’s talent
- Refocus the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to grow its role as Australia’s national high performance agency
Understanding High Performance Sport in Australia (pages 10 and 11)
Australian Institute of Sport (“Australia’s strategic high performance sport agency with responsibility and accountability for leading the delivery of Australia’s international sporting success.”)
State Institutes and Academies of Sport (“provide high performance services and support in partnership with NSOs in their respective state and territory jurisdictions with a view to delivering high quality daily training environments for athletes and teams with podium potential.”)
Peak Bodies (“Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) support sports to access significant international competitions, including the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Commonwealth Games. In addition, the APC manages high performance programs for several sports, provides direct funding to national federations and other high performance sector partners, and delivers programs that value add to this investment.”)
The Edge has a schematic for the High Performance System and Performance Outcomes (page 12):
There are four other documents available in The Edge announcement:
- AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership
- Athlete Pathway (Talent) Development Initiatives
- Coaching and High Performance: NSO Competitive Innovation Funding Pool
- High Performance Investment Principles
The AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership will be established to:
“improve and formalise a pathway designed for professional development for our high performance coaches and sport leaders, and drive research and innovation. The Centre will systematically integrate and build on successful approaches and programs, such as the National Coaching Scholarship Program, coach profiling and coach study tours, and provide a platform for long-term capability development, with a flexible approach to learning. The Centre will position the AIS as a global leader in high performance coaching and leadership development, acknowledging the potential for rapid growth in high performance coaching.”
The Athlete Pathway (Talent) Development Initiatives are:
- Sports draft and second chance programs
- Talent pool expansion
- Full-time dedicated pathway managers
- Talent enrichment team
- Multi-sport centre of excellence
The Innovation Funding Pool aims to:
“encourage innovation and a greater commitment to investment in coaching and high performance personnel, a new pool of funding will be set aside for competitive bids from national sporting organisations (NSO) in high priority sports. The focus of the funding will be on new proposals, and is in addition to a sport’s existing investment in coaching and high performance staff. Funding will extend to encourage technology-related initiatives that will benefit in the areas of coaching and on-field performance. Depending on the nature of proposals, NSOs could be supported for one-off initiatives or multi-year initiatives where evidence of need is justified.”
There are eight High Performance Investment Principles:
- The ASC’s investment objective is podium-level results for Australians in international sporting competitions consistent with the targets set out in Australia’s Winning Edge. Investment will be directly linked to a sport’s ability to provide evidence of how it will contribute to the targets in Australia’s Winning Edge.
- ASC investment is dependent on sports, athletes, coaches and support personnel demonstrating the highest possible standards of integrity in sport, including anti-doping, that will enhance the reputation of Australia internationally and provide a positive example to all Australians.
- Sports must operate with high quality governance, administrative and financial practices that will give the ASC confidence that public funds will be spent effectively. The ASC expects sports to operate at best practice, taking account of an individual sport’s particular circumstances.
- The ASC will only invest in sports that have best practice high performance plans in place with clearly agreed key performance indicators across a range of areas. Once agreed, sports will be accountable for achieving progress against milestones.
- Sports must co-invest in high performance and will be expected to grow their share of investment over time from other revenue sources such as commercial, philanthropic and sponsorship opportunities. The ASC will work closely with NSOs to assist in achieving progress.
- In making investment decisions, the ASC will consider the totality of a sport’s funding position, including broadcast revenues and the efficiency with which funds are being spent.
- In making investment decisions for NSO high performance plans, the ASC will consider a sport’s international competitive environment, including differences in competition opportunities, medals available, the differing needs of teams and individual athletes, depth of fields, and athlete pathways.
- ASC investment seeks to achieve sustained success aligned to Australia’s Winning Edge targets. The ASC will invest over the long term where a sport can demonstrate a strong talent pipeline and a support structure to help athletes realise their potential.