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Athletics Review

Athletics Review

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Published by Mandy Hank Rego

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Published by: Mandy Hank Rego on Nov 26, 2008
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AA Review.doc 10/12/2004
Page 1 of 52
 
 A  A 
tthhlleettiiccsseevviieeww 
Re-creating a culture for athletics in Australia
 
a report into the high performance, development andgovernance of athletics in AustraliaChairman: Herb ElliottJuly 2004
 prepared for the Australian Sports Commission and Athletics Australia
 
AA Review.doc 10/12/2004
Page 2 of 52
 
Contents
Foreword by Herb Elliott...............................................................................................................3Glossary of Terms........................................................................................................................4Executive Overview......................................................................................................................6Methodology.................................................................................................................................9Findings and Recommendations...............................................................................................11
Part A
 
Pathways – Athletes, Coaches and Officials............................................................11
 
Development.............................................................................................................................11
 Issue # 1 Grass roots and development pathway...........................................................11Issue # 2 Club Structure..................................................................................................12Issue # 3 Competition......................................................................................................13Issue # 4 Coaching..........................................................................................................15Issue # 5 Officiating.........................................................................................................17
High Performance....................................................................................................................18 
 Issue # 6
 
Linking Development and High Performance
.............................................18 
Issue # 7
 
High Performance Pathway
......................................................................18 
Issue # 8
 
The Objective of the High Performance Program
........................................22 
Issue # 9
 
Structure of the High Performance Program
...............................................22 
Issue # 10
 
Roles, Responsibilities and Funding Input of Institutes
................................23 
Issue # 11
 
Link between National Performance Director and Athletics
.........................25 
Australia’s Board
......................................................................................25 
Issue # 12
 
Selection and Support of Merit-based Coaches
..........................................25 
Issue # 13
 
High Performance Coach Education
..........................................................26 
Issue # 14
 
High Performance Athlete Support
............................................................26 
Issue # 15
 
Selection of National Teams for International Competitions
.........................27 
Issue # 16
 
Domestic Competition for High Performance Athletes
.................................28 
Part B Governance and Management System.................................................................30
 
 Athletics Australia....................................................................................................................30 
 Issue # 17 Financial Management...................................................................................30Issue # 18 Communications............................................................................................31Issue # 19 Board and Management................................................................................31
 Athletics as a Sport in Australia.............................................................................................33
 Issue # 20 Impact of 1998 PricewaterhouseCoopers Report..........................................33Issue # 21 Roles and Linkages between Athletics Bodies..............................................34
Implementation.............................................................................................................................36
 
Appendices...................................................................................................................................37
 A Terms of Reference......................................................................................................38B Members of the review..................................................................................................39C Consultations and submissions....................................................................................44D Current membership and voting structure of AA...........................................................48E Current structure of athletics as a sport in Australia.....................................................49F Financial Management Review Athletics Australia June 2004.....................................50G Documents tabled for the review..................................................................................52
Cover image: John Thornell competes in the men’s long jump – supplied by Getty Images
 
AA Review.doc 10/12/2004
Page 3 of 52
 
Foreword by Herb Elliott 
 CultureThis report contains a number of recommendations, but through it all flow issues related to culture.Culture is that elusive personality that describes the essence of a group of people in a communityand pervades its people.Our sport’s breadth and diversity necessitates the development of a range of cultures. At the levelof initiation to the sport and for those long term participants who have no aspirations for eliteperformance the culture of the sport which reflects in the clubs, coaches and officials needs to beone dominated by fun and learning. Fun in the sport and social surroundings combined withlearning good technique is the most likely environment to attract and retain participants whether itbe at the Little Athletics level, school level, club track and field or a metro marathon club. If thereis competition then the competition must be fun.The joy and satisfaction of learning, being fit, training and competing with friends in an athleticsenvironment will reflect the right culture in the non elite areas of the sport.Striving to develop and maintain these cultures should establish the environment in which clubswill operate and the approach to be taken by coaches and officials.The ideal culture for the elite area of the sport if we are to be internationally successful is verydifferent.The culture of our elite spectrum must be one that welcomes with open arms the obstacles andchallenges of striving for world leadership. We are lucky that we belong to the sport that ispractised by the whole world giving us the opportunity to compete against every nation rather thana few western nations. Perhaps this makes it a little harder in our sport to be the world’s best.Good. Our elite people choose to be elite not because it is easy but because it is difficult. Thedifficulty factor is a plus, not a negative.Our culture at the elite end must develop as a result of setting our benchmarks at the highestlevels of coaching and performance and constant striving for perfection of technique andtoughness.Logic tells us that we can’t be perfect and that it is harder to achieve world leadership in track andfield than in most other sports, but our culture chooses not to be limited by this logic. Newachievements at world level don’t emerge from logic, although the process must be logical. Newachievements arise from dreams and a remorseless unstoppable desire to achieve those dreams.It would seem that our present culture in both the general participation population and the elite of the sport are not quite what they need to be if we want to achieve participation growth and worldclass elite performance.So who develops and matures the culture? In a corporation it is set by the Chief Executive andthe senior management. In our sport the culture needs to be set by leaders in our coachingfraternity, club officials, Athletics Australia, Australian Little Athletics and the leadership of theAustralian Institute of Sport and State Institutes and Academies of Sport.Quite apart from the other recommendations made in this review, I believe that at the nextmeeting of AA and Member Associations the topic of culture should be included on the agenda for substantive discussion. Those discussions should then be broadened to include the importantstakeholders I have already mentioned.If aspirational cultures in our sport can be unanimously agreed it will change the air that webreathe.Herb ElliottChairman

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