Core and Edge: Thinking About High Performance Sport Governance

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Yesterday was one of those special kind of days in Canberra.

Since my arrival in Australia in 2002, I have thought about Canberra as being at the crossroads of the world.

It is not such a busy crossroads now but yesterday countered that quietening.

Within the space of four hours I met with:

  • An expert in academic integrity and student support at the University of Canberra.
  • Two visiting criminologists from Cambridge.
  • A Director of Research at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
  • A championship winning netball coach.

The whirlwind ended sitting in on a workshop (at the invitation of a performance analyst) with the Diamonds netball squad in the Old Ressies at the AIS.

Conversations about data and analysis were integral to all these meetings.

All of them helped me to contemplate the content of a Smart Talk I hope to present on 17 October at the AIS.

I have a draft of my talk here.

I aim to combine some insights from Immanuel Wallerstein, firefighting and conversations with coaches to explore the governance of high performance sport.

I think that this quote from Immanuel sets the context:

A world-system is a social system. Its life is made up of the conflicting forces which hold it together by tension and tear it apart as each group seeks eternally to remold its advantage. … it has a life-span over which its characteristics change in some respects and remain stable in others.

The ‘remolding’ of advantage takes place in a world-system that has core states and peripheral areas. I am keen to explore what these insights might tell us about a national sport strategy that seeks a winning edge.

I thought I would share my work in progress here after a day at the crossroads.

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