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PROTRACK » GENERAL » AA Review splits HP Manager's Role into Head Coach & new role - HP Director

AA Review splits HP Manager's Role into Head Coach & new role - HP Director

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Athletics Australia review update
From the AA website

For the past 12 months Athletics Australia(AA) has been working on a Strategic Plan for 2013-2016 along with its Member Associations and the Australian Sports Commission(ASC).

The High Performance component of the plan culminated with a review, earlier this month, of the last Olympic cycle with stakeholders including representation of coaches and athletes.
As part of the new strategic plan the board approved the 2013 IAAF World Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games selection policies to include both A and B qualification standards, as was the case with the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin at the beginning of the previous Olympic cycle.

Also, a new High Performance Management structure was approved by the AA board establishing a High Performance Advisory Committee which will be made up of CEODallas O’Brien, the AA High Performance Director, AA Head Coach, AA Board member and the AA Paralympic High Performance Manager Andrew Faichney.
The Committee will also include an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) representative and ASC representative.

The High Performance Director position will be responsible for strategy, contracts, selection policy and funding as well as managing the High Performance Department.

Eric Hollingsworth will fill the Head Coach position and he will be tasked with the daily management of national team activities, HP coaches, evaluation of athlete performances and the delivery of performance programs.

O’Brien said: “In effect this is one role being split into two positions which strengthens the management structure and allows us to identify a number of areas we can continue to raise the bar in.

“The thinking behind combining a High Performance Director with a Head Coach is that it allows one role to essentially plan for tomorrow with regards to strategy and policy while the other can focus on today and ensuring performance programs are being fully integrated.

“An important component of all this is the stronger alliance with the AIS. Matt Favier (AIS Director) has played a role in supporting the restructure.

“As such Eric’s new role allows him to further utilise his coaching skills and adding daily support to our athletes and coaches with their preparation across the domestic season, international competitions and major championships. He is currently in Moscow preparing for next year’s Championships and will continue the athlete-to-athlete and coaches reviews over the next two months.”

AIS director Matt Favier added: “Engaging a Performance Director to support the strategic and management functions of the Olympic and Paralympic programs, coupled with a performance management group who will provide oversight and support for the delivery of the performance strategy makes sense for a sport like athletics and is very welcomed.

“The AIS is looking forward to continuing to work closely with Athletics Australia by ensuring that our resources are firmly aligned to the performance aspirations of the sport.”

Rob Fildes, President of Athletics Australia, commented: “I’d like to thank my fellow board members and all involved in this process. I am confident it will take our High Performance team to the next level and continue the good work Eric has started while also enabling him to lead our elite coaches and athletes in his role as Head Coach.”



Athletics Australia to bulk up Moscow team for Rio readiness

by: Glenda Korporaal
From:The Australian
September 26, 201212:00AM

ATHLETICS Australia is to take a team of more than 70 to the IAAF world championships in Moscow next year in a bid to give more competitors experience before the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The sport took just over 50 athletes to the London Games, most of whom had achieved the A-qualifying standard for their event, with some athletes complaining that B-qualifiers should also have been selected.

AA also announced yesterday that it was to hire a new high-performance manager to work with head coach Eric Hollingsworth, and set up a high-performance advisory committee in the wake of disappointment over the results in London.

An independent legal adviser will also be appointed to examine allegations by 400m runner John Steffensen that he had been the victim of racist treatment by some AA officials in the past.

Australian athletes won three medals at the London Games -- Sally Pearson's gold medal in the 100m hurdles and silver medals for Mitch Watt in the long jump and Jared Tallent in the 50km walk -- less than the target of six set by Australian Athletics president Rob Fildes.

Officials admitted yesterday they were disappointed that more athletes had not finished in the top eight at the Olympics.

"We were very happy with the standard of athletes that went to London," Hollingsworth said.

"But the performances were a little disappointing once we were over there."

Fildes denied that the move was a demotion for Hollingsworth, who will have to report to the new high-performance manager.

He said part of the aim was to allow Hollingsworth to focus on working with the athletes and coaches, sports institutes around the country and the Australian Institute of Sport to improve performances.

"He will manage the national team, that is what he wants to do," Fildes said. "It will give him a chance to have more impact on the national team."

Hollingsworth said his experience at the London Games had confirmed his view that the job was too big for one person.

The restructure will see a closer relationship between the Melbourne-based Athletics Australia and the Canberra-based Australian Institute of Sport, which will help fund the new position.

AA chief executive Dallas O'Brien said an independent lawyer would be appointed to investigate the claims by Steffensen, a member of the 4x400m relay team in London, that he had been the victim of racial discrimination by AA officials in the past.

He said the board had written to Steffensen asking him to explain his comments and had received a letter back from his lawyer asking for an independent review. He said AA vice-president David Grace QC would take the results of the independent adviser to the AA board for consideration.

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