The Australian Government's Response to the Crawford Report: Some Additional Information

I posted news on 12 May of the Australian Government’s response to the Crawford Report. This post adds to that post.

This is a Wordle visualisation of Australian Sport: The pathway to success:

Wordle generates word clouds. These clouds “give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text”. Here are some clouds formed by the separate chapters of the response.

Chapter 1: Sport in Australia

Chapter 2: Increasing Participation

Chapter 3: Strengthening Pathways

Chapter 4: Striving for Success

Responses to Recommendations

The Pathway to Success has three strands:

1. Increasing participation

  • Boosting child participation: delivery of a national sport and education strategy that embeds quality sport and physical education in schools.
  • Supporting NSO actions: funding to support NSOs to expand participation at a community level and requirement to deliver improved participation outcomes as part of their funding agreements with the Commission. Funding will also be provided to selected NSOs to deliver direct financial assistance to support their community clubs to implement participation programs.
  • Supporting people and athletes with a disability.
  • Breaking down barriers to women and girls participation.
  • Building places to play.

2. Strengthening Pathways

  • Building a bigger and better pool of volunteers, coaches and officials for sport to assist NSOs to build capacity to deliver.
  • Talent Identification and Development: support for aspiring Australian athletes.
  • Boosting Development
  • Athlete Contribution: volunteer at local community sporting clubs or junior sport programs.

3. Striving for Success

  • Boosting international competition.
  • Supporting and retaining high performance coaches and officials.
  • Supporting high performance athletes.
  • Reforming Australia’s high performance delivery system.
  • Boost research and innovation.


Alexis Lebedew revisited the Striving for Success section of the Pathway Response and came up with this visualisation without the words ‘Australia’, ‘Australia’s’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sporting’:

The Australian Government's Response to the Crawford Report: 11 May 2010

I have been following the work of the Independent Panel and its report on Australian sport (the Crawford Report). Yesterday the Australian Government published the Policy document Australian Sport: Pathway to Success and noted on the Panel website:

This is the front cover of the Policy document:

An electronic version of the Policy document can be found at this link.

The document is twenty-three pages in length. The response to David Crawford’s Report starts on page 11 of Australian Sport: Pathway to Success and concludes on page 23. In these pages the Government sets out its support (or otherwise) for the Crawford Report recommendations.

One recommendation that did not receive the Government’s support was the recommendation that:

Consistent with the Australian Sports Commission’s leadership role, it should not be involved in service delivery. Those activities that give the Australian Sports Commission a ‘conflict’ with the other organisations it is supposed to deal with and support should be taken away from it. Specifically, the Australian Institute of Sport should be separated from the Australian Sports Commission (…) and the Active After-school Communities program should be contracted out to appropriate providers at agreed performance standards.

Australian Sport: Pathway to Success notes (page 13):

Following consultation with Australian sport the Australian Government has received strong feedback from national and peak sporting organisations that they do not support the separation of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). In line with this feedback the Australian Government will focus on delivering stronger alignment between the AIS and the state and territory institutes and academies of sport in partnership with state and territory governments to support better co-ordination and reduce duplication, rather than supporting separation at this time. The Australian Government considers that the Australian Sports Commission is best placed at this stage to ensure an effective and consistent national delivery of the Active After-school Communities program.

I am looking forward to reading the Policy document in detail and the news about funding contained in the Federal Budget statement.

#HPRW10: Introduction

Peter Fricker welcomed workshop delegates on the day after the Federal Budget (see this item too). In his introduction, Peter discussed the outcomes of the internal review at the Australian Institute of Sport and the aim to deliver sustained success in international sport performance. Research and development will play a key role in the AIS’s mission. The strategic plan for research at the AIS involves:

  • A focus on practical outcomes for coaches and athletes
  • Awareness and knowledge of global practice
  • Coordinated approaches and collaborative endeavours
  • Demonstrable improvements in performance
  • Communication of research findings and facilitation of better practice

Peter noted that the workshop aims to bring researchers together to support athletes. During the three days there will be discussion of thirty research projects and sport programs will have an opportunity to share their views on London and beyond. The overall aim of the workshop is to drive and shape thinking about sport specific development maps.

Peter identified the diversity of countries winning medals in Beijing 2008 and commented on the challenge for each medal at the Olympic Games. He observed too that competitor countries are looking at partnerships to build capacity and capability to be competitive and noted UK Sport’s research program. He pointed to exemplar programs in Germany, France, Japan and Korea as examples of this trend.

Peter acknowledged the Australian Government’s commitment to the role research will play in sporting excellence. Peter noted too the AIS’s partnerships with Universities. The AOC and APC acknowledge these relationships in their High Performance Plan.

Peter acknowledges the AIS partnership with CSIRO that emerged from a 2006 workshop. He pointed out that the partnership had an impact at Beijing. He added that there was a need build on the momentum this partnership had created.

Peter concluded his address with a thanks to the workshop attendees and a welcome to the AIS Bruce Campus.

Tim Kelly (AIS Performance Research Centre) introduced Steve Morton (CSIRO). Steve provided some background to the CSIRO/AIS partnership.

Steve discussed CSIRO’s commitment to science and technology and talked specifically about the Advance Human Performance program. Two key areas:

  • Smart equipment
  • Personal performance technologies

To date eight business units across CSIRO are collaborating on a range of projects with the AIS, including:

  • modelling of elite swimmers to develop ideal stroke technique
  • thermoelectrically active fabrics that heat or cool athlete’s bodies for preparation, recovery and rehabilitation
  • towards faster smarter oar shafts that are lighter and more aerodynamic
  • scoring system for amateur boxing
  • wearable body mapping garments for assessing and improving sports performance
  • weather forecasting for sporting events
  • non-invasive monitoring of athlete’s metabolic status from expired air for monitoring of athlete’s physiological status
  • the Beijing Bike project, reducing cycling component friction via new coating technologies
  • quantification of nutritional intake for high-performance sports nutrition
  • wind protection for sporting venues, using textile structures for wind protection of rowing courses
  • modelling kayak blades for optimizing paddling performance
  • fibre optic anemometer for use on small yachts
  • RF tracking of athletes for real-time positioning system to track athletes.

Steve noted that CSIRO were delighted that the AIS thought there had been a positive impact on performance in Beijing and he looked forward to supporting the AIS and Australian athletes in London 2012. He added that CSIRO can help researchers in sport with connections to the private sector.

The Advisory Committee for the Partnership is holding its first meeting at this workshop. The Committee comprises: Greg Nance, Callum Drummond, Alison Campbell, Craig Phillips, Steve Morton, Peter Fricker and Perry Crossthwaite.

Tim Kelly then introduced Craig Phillips, Secretary General of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to present the AOC/Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) High Performance Plan (HPP) with a specific focus on research.

Craig recapped a timeline for the development of the AOC/APC HPP that started on 3 August 2008. A consultation process with national sporting organisations (and others) continued through to January 2009. The HPP aims to identify achievable results and the costs associated with them. A Forum in Sydney in February 2009 shared these consultations. Recommendations from the Forum were included in the HPP. The Plan submitted to the Minister of Sport, the Prime Minister and the Independent Sport Panel in March 2009. Craig made the strong point that the Plan was a bid for funds on behalf of NSOs and not for the AOC.

The Plan makes recommendations in nine key areas. Innovation and competitive advantage is Section 7.8 of the Plan (p.48ff). At the Sydney Forum stakeholders noted:

  • The absence of substantive programs and the lack of national direction in innovation and research.
  • The limited amount of funds available for research and development.
  • One-line appropriation (post Sydney 2000) appears to discourage the allocation of funds for research and development (focus on short-term goals; dilemma of groups owning research outcomes; unclear leadership; best athletes need access to research within the network; IP needs to be better utilised.)
  • Current practice contrasts sharply with that before 2000.

The HPP was informed by benchmark comparisons. Craig pointed to the example of UK Sport’s Ideas4Innovation.

Recommendation 23 in the HPP requests the implementation of a cross-sport strategy for applied research.  It was proposed that: the AIS coordinate a task force for this purpose; that a specific budget be allocated that would be used to support clearly articulated research projects tied to finite outcomes; and that there should be a ‘risk fund’ for special initiatives. Need long-term planning with finite outcomes. Noted risk fund (venture capital). Recommendation 24 requests the application of information and communication technology and analysis that would make information about performance available and retrievable. This would include the monitoring of global practice.

Craig concluded his talk with an emphasis on the partnership between AOC and APC in the HPP.

Photo Credits

Synthetic Rugby