Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
New elite sports plan a shake-up with no fund -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ASHLEY HALL: The Australian Sports Commission has revealed a new blueprint for getting more of Australia's elite athletes on the winner's podium.

It involves a strategic overhaul which will see the Australian Institute of Sport stripped of its responsibility for athletic scholarships.

It also introduces a more business-like approach to funding.

Sports will have to meet key performance indicators to prove they're on-track to win gold but there's little extra funding to achieve those goals.

The changes were announced at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this morning. Simon Lauder was there.

SIMON LAUDER: Aussie sports fanatics will never forget the London Olympics, where the Green and Gold lost some of its lustre as the Australian team failed to meet high expectations.

Hockeyroo Rachael Lynch says there was a sense then that some things need to change.

RACHAEL LYNCH: The results in London were a little e bit under what we were hoping for but it's going to be something that'll take time and yeah so we'll see how we go.

SIMON LAUDER: Now Australia has a new plan to reclaim its place on the podium and the name of it says it all - Australia's Winning Edge was launched at the MCG this morning after a brief inspirational video.

JOHN WYLIE (excerpt from video): Our new high performance strategy called Australia's Winning Edge proposes simple but far reaching changes in how the Australian Sports Commission will invest to improve our international sporting performance for the next decade and beyond.

SIMON LAUDER: The chair of the Australian Sports Commission, John Wylie, says Australia's Olympic medal tally has been in steady decline since the Sydney Olympics.

JOHN WYLIE: This trend goes beyond just the Olympic Games. Two-thousand-and-twelve is likely to see the lowest number of Australian world champions across priority sports in the past 12 years.

SIMON LAUDER: Mr Wylie says Australia's dominance of sport has ended partly because other nations have copied Australia's successful methods, but he thinks Australians deserve better.

JOHN WYLIE: We will not lower our expectations for success and achievement in international sport.

SIMON LAUDER: Australian taxpayers invest about $170 million a year into elite sports programs and today's announcement is more about a shake-up than a top-up.

JOHN WYLIE: In these challenging economic times, it is not reasonable to expect, nor will we ask for more government funding.

SIMON LAUDER: For the first time funding for sports will be based on a set of investment principles. Sports will have key performance indicators and be accountable on their progress towards winning championships and medals.

JOHN WYLIE: Until now there has been an absence of clear goals for which sports and the Australian Sports Commission can be held accountable. It is plainly apparent that around the world, elite sport has become a hard-nosed business.

If we want to be successful in this environment, we have to have a business plan ourselves.

SIMON LAUDER: There will also be a new strategy to find talent, with the introduction of an annual Draft Sports Camp. The Australian Institute of Sport will be given an extra $20 million between now and the next Olympics to spend on luring, developing and retaining coaches.

But the Institute will lose responsibility for sport programs and elite sports scholarships. That responsibility will go to the individual sports bodies instead.

Despite this, the director of the institute, Matthew Favier, says the Institute's is not losing any influence.

MATTHEW FAVIER: The role of AIS will grow nationally, and as far as the iconic campus in Canberra is concerned, we expect it will be used more often by more people.

SIMON LAUDER: Whether the program lives up to its name only time will tell. For Hockeyroo Rachael Lynch, the changes are exciting.

RACHAEL LYNCH: It's about empowering the programs and giving more to the athletes and the coaches so that sounds good to me.

SIMON LAUDER: Apart from an overhaul, which it seems like this is, do you think there needs to be more money as well?

RACHAEL LYNCH: Oh I mean funding always makes a huge difference but it's also about utilising your resources and making the most of what we've got. As an athlete, funding helps because it means we don't have to work but, it's, you know, it's not always easy to get.

ASHLEY HALL: Hockeyroo, Rachael Lynch, speaking to Simon Lauder.