Re-creating a culture for athletics in Australia
a report into the high performance, development and governance of athletics in Australia Chairman: Herb Elliott July 2004
prepared for the Australian Sports Commission and Athletics Australia
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Foreword by Herb Elliott............................................................................................................... 3 Glossary of Terms........................................................................................................................ 4 Executive Overview...................................................................................................................... 6 Methodology................................................................................................................................. 9 Findings and Recommendations ............................................................................................... 11 Part A Pathways – Athletes, Coaches and Officials............................................................ 11
Development............................................................................................................................. 11 Issue # 1 Grass roots and development pathway ........................................................... 11 Issue # 2 Club Structure .................................................................................................. 12 Issue # 3 Competition ...................................................................................................... 13 Issue # 4 Coaching .......................................................................................................... 15 Issue # 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................................................................................... 30 Issue # 18 Communications ............................................................................................ 31 Issue # 19 Board and Management ................................................................................ 31 Athletics as a Sport in Australia ............................................................................................. 33 Issue # 20 Impact of 1998 PricewaterhouseCoopers Report.......................................... 33 Issue # 21 Roles and Linkages between Athletics Bodies .............................................. 34 Implementation ............................................................................................................................. 36 Appendices ................................................................................................................................... 37 A Terms of Reference ...................................................................................................... 38 B Members of the review.................................................................................................. 39 C Consultations and submissions .................................................................................... 44 D Current membership and voting structure of AA........................................................... 48 E Current structure of athletics as a sport in Australia ..................................................... 49 F Financial Management Review Athletics Australia June 2004 ..................................... 50 G Documents tabled for the review .................................................................................. 52 Cover image: John Thornell competes in the men’s long jump – supplied by Getty Images
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Foreword by Herb Elliott
Culture This 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 community and pervades its people. Our sport’s breadth and diversity necessitates the development of a range of cultures. At the level of initiation to the sport and for those long term participants who have no aspirations for elite performance the culture of the sport which reflects in the clubs, coaches and officials needs to be one dominated by fun and learning. Fun in the sport and social surroundings combined with learning good technique is the most likely environment to attract and retain participants whether it be at the Little Athletics level, school level, club track and field or a metro marathon club. If there is competition then the competition must be fun. The joy and satisfaction of learning, being fit, training and competing with friends in an athletics environment 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 clubs will 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 very different. The culture of our elite spectrum must be one that welcomes with open arms the obstacles and challenges of striving for world leadership. We are lucky that we belong to the sport that is practised by the whole world giving us the opportunity to compete against every nation rather than a 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. The difficulty factor is a plus, not a negative. Our culture at the elite end must develop as a result of setting our benchmarks at the highest levels of coaching and performance and constant striving for perfection of technique and toughness. Logic tells us that we can’t be perfect and that it is harder to achieve world leadership in track and field than in most other sports, but our culture chooses not to be limited by this logic. New achievements at world level don’t emerge from logic, although the process must be logical. New achievements 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 world class elite performance. So who develops and matures the culture? In a corporation it is set by the Chief Executive and the senior management. In our sport the culture needs to be set by leaders in our coaching fraternity, club officials, Athletics Australia, Australian Little Athletics and the leadership of the Australian 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 next meeting 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 important stakeholders I have already mentioned. If aspirational cultures in our sport can be unanimously agreed it will change the air that we breathe.
Herb Elliott Chairman
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Glossary of Terms
To assist with the reading of this report it is necessary to provide a definition of key terms referred to in the body of the report. These definitions are as set out below AA means Athletics Australia Limited AAF means Australian Athletics Federation Limited AAOES means Athletics Australia Officials Education Scheme ACGA means Australian Commonwealth Games Association AFRWC means Australian Federation of Race Walking Clubs AIS means Australian Institute of Sport ALA means Australian Little Athletics Association AOC means Australian Olympic Committee ASC means Australian Sports Commission ATFCA means Australian Track and Field Coaches Association Board means the Board of AA Board Committee means a committee established by the Board, and which reports directly to the Board (see also Committee). CEO means Chief Executive Officer of AA CFO means Chief Financial Officer of AA Committee means a committee appointed by the Board which reports to the CEO or other nominated senior executive (see also Board Committee) Elite Athlete Pathway means a series of incremental steps for athletes and coaches involved in the sport of track and field commencing with a talent identification tracking program for individuals in the age range of 12-14 years through to athletes competing successfully on the international stage. High Performance Advisory Committee means the key people who are appointed by the Board to counsel, advise and support the National Performance Director with the implementation and ongoing improvement and assessment of the High Performance Plan. High Performance Plan means the agreed vision, structure and support systems for on-going success at major international events (i.e. Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games). The plan provides for all future major international events. The High Performance Plan is underpinned by annual business plans that detail the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of all stakeholders involved in the delivery of programs and services identified for the successful delivery of the High Performance Program. High Performance Program means an agreed series of programs and services that support the progression of the athlete and coach unit along the continuum of the defined athlete pathway. Hub means a place in a geographic region where, ideally, all the resources necessary to achieve success are available to local clubs, athletes and coaches, including competition and training facilities. IAAF means the International Association of Athletics Federations Institutes means the AIS and SIS/SAS collectively International Tours Committee means those persons appointed by the Board to advise the National Performance Director regarding selection policies for athletes to participate in overseas competition, and regarding suitable international competition programs and tours for Australian teams, including the recommendation of suitable persons for appointment as team officials, coaches and medical and other personnel.
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MAs means each of the eight State member associations of AA; MA means any of the MAs MOU means a Memorandum of Understanding or agreement between AA and another party such a MA National event group co-ordinators means those persons reporting to the National Performance Director who are responsible and accountable for the improved performances of their respective event groups based on the key performance indicators identified in the High Performance Plan. These positions are also responsible and accountable for coach education within their respective event groups. NPD means the National Performance Director who is the leader and person responsible and accountable for the delivery of the High Performance Plan. National Youth Performance Manager means the person appointed to co-ordinate the Junior (U20), Youth (U18) and talent identification age group programs (e.g. 12-14 years), aimed at developing talented athletes into Top End athletes (ie: from recruitment to achievement); SIS/SAS means the network of state and territory institutes and academies of sport. SSA means School Sport Australia State means all Australian states and territories Steering Committee means the committee responsible for this report Top End Athletes means those athletes who at any given point in time are Australia’s top performers at major championships. The performance levels for classification as Top End Athletes (e.g. top 16-20) will evolve with the successful implementation of the High Performance Plan. Working group or working groups are groups appointed by the Steering Committee to provide it with advice in the areas of high performance, development, and governance and management.
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Australia, as a nation, has a history of “punching above its weight” in many fields of endeavour, including sport. Australia finished fourth on the outright medal tally at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and has regularly finished in the top handful of nations at these events. We can claim successes across a wide range of sports on a sustained basis. This is achieved despite Australia’s relatively small population and disadvantage of location. For as long as sport has been a part of Australian culture, athletics has been a significant part of sport. Athletics features prominently in school sports. It contributes to the development of base motor skills in children. It complements athletic development for successful participation in other sports requiring strength, stamina or speed. Australians revere their successful elite athletes. Most children naturally tend towards activities involving running, jumping and throwing. They enjoy this with friends and, in many instances, this informal involvement will influence their choice of organised sporting activities to pursue. Parents also have a significant influence on their children, keen to see them involved in pursuits that will benefit their health and development. Athletics must therefore compete with more popular sports and those with which parents have a personal connection. Running, jumping and throwing activities may be popular secondary choices of parents who are drawn towards more team-orientated sports that help develop hand-eye coordination and provide a strong social involvement. Historically athletics in Australia has relied on a club system of delivery that primarily targets athletes from secondary school ages upwards. However, as a sport, athletics is splintered, and faces a number of substantial challenges. The national governing body, Athletics Australia (AA), is not responsible or accountable for many areas of the sport. Primary-age school children are supported in their development through Australian Little Athletics (ALA) and its network of local centres. There are separate organisations for walks clubs, mountain running, schools sports and coaches. AA’s club structure is in decline. Athlete pathways are uncertain, and while there are exceptions, there is a history of distrust and lack of cooperation between many of the peak bodies involved in athletics. It is difficult to perceive athletics strengthening itself nationally unless all of the organisations claiming an involvement in the sport work together. This has been said before in many previous reviews and reports. It is common sense, and yet it has not been achieved. Why is this? A July 1998 report on athletics in Australia prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers attempted to give direction to the sport by recommending changes in governance and structure. Some of its recommendations were adopted and have led to positive outcomes for the sport. In 2002 the ASC commissioned Dench McLean Carlson (DMC) to conduct a case study of the impact of these changes. DMC concluded that “[t]he most significant of these changes was that in early 1999 Athletics Australia adopted a ‘corporate Board’, in which the Directors are independent of the member associations and are predominantly from a business background.” DMC identified some very significant improvements to Australian athletics which had been driven by the new Board, including: • development of a new constitution and by-laws • transfer of the lead sponsorship to Telstra • significant increases in revenue and scope of activities • development of the Commitment Deed between AA and the MAs • integration of disabled athletics into AA. The Commitment Deeds evolved into Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with each Member Association (MA). Through these MOUs, AA has substantially increased its cash and in-kind support to MAs since 1999. A key element of the revised constitution devised by the new Board, and of the MOUs which followed, has been the introduction of an organisational focus by AA and MAs on national program priorities.
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As a result of this increased national focus over the past five years, the AA Board, its staff and the MAs have put in place a structure that should be more capable of successfully implementing the recommendations from this report than might otherwise have been possible. DMC also made the observation that while the new Board had strong commercial skills, it was seen as not adequately empathising with its ‘athletics’ stakeholders. It concluded with the statement that the new board “now needs to give consideration to how it can forge improved linkages with the sport's grass roots.” This has been a continuing challenge for the new Board as the athletics fraternity has expectations of the Board which are quite different from the expectations of a Board of Directors in the corporate world. Events leading up to the 2004 review of athletics indicated that there were concerns about a lack of inclusiveness within the sport. AA was perceived to communicate and interact with members and volunteers inadequately. A major concern was the failure of AA to attract membership of ALA into the AAF. This umbrella organisation was established to provide a collective vision and direction for the sport, but has failed to play a meaningful role. Aside from structure and governance, the sport (as opposed to individuals in the sport) projects an image of elitism that undermines its ability to attract significant numbers of grass roots participants to its ranks. While the little athletics movement claims a national membership of over 95,0001, AA’s national registration throughout the 1990s and today hovers around approximately 16,000, while its highest ever membership in the late 1970s approached 25,000. In recent years the sport has been unable to showcase its high performing athletes on a regular basis throughout the domestic season, and the domestic event series has suffered a significant decline in profile and quality. Despite revenue almost doubling since 1998, the loss by AA of $1.3 million in the 2002/2003 financial year brought the Board and management under close scrutiny from members, stakeholders and other interested parties. The areas of concern identified above, together with poorer than expected financial results, led AA’s Board and management to seek assistance from the ASC. In March 2004 the ASC and AA announced the terms of a wide-ranging review into the governance, high performance and development of the sport. It is recognised that in the past 20 years there have been at least five reviews into athletics in Australia. Many of the key findings and themes identified in those reviews continue to be relevant to the current review, and are considered as part of this Review’s deliberations. This Report addresses identified key issues in governance and management, high performance and development of the sport. It endeavours to build on previous reports which reinforce what the Steering Committee believes needs to change for the sport’s betterment. There is probably little in this report that has not been addressed and recommended in these earlier reports. The Steering Committee was given the following Terms of Reference: “1. To assess the effectiveness and capacity of existing pathways, including international performance, and to provide recommendations to enhance the education and development pathways for athletes and coaches at all levels. This includes taking into account the role of stakeholders, including particularly Australian Little Athletics, the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association, Athletes’ Commission, state Member Organisations and departments responsible for sport, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the network of state and territory Institutes and Academies (SIS/SAS). Liaison will also occur with the international athletics body. 2. These recommendations may include adjustments to existing governance and management systems, including financial management, communication networks, and/or integration of activities and operations.” The Steering Committee appointed three working groups to assist it in the areas of high performance, development and governance and management. Their Terms of Reference appear
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in full at Appendix A. Details of membership of the Steering Committee and working groups are shown at Appendix B. The Steering Committee commenced its work on 7 April, with its final report to the boards of AA and the ASC required by 31 July. All members of the Steering Committee and working groups provided their services in a voluntary capacity, without fee. The review received 133 written submissions (see Appendix C) and held 76 face-to-face meetings with interested parties throughout Australia. Meetings were held in Launceston and all mainland capital cities except Darwin. Input was provided by clubs, athletes, professional and volunteer coaches, officials and parents, current and former Board members, staff of little athletics and senior athletics associations at State and national levels, the AIS and staff of State institutes and departments of sport and recreation. This report makes 128 recommendations for improvement. It does not provide a fully costed model for the future. The responsibility for detailed planning and budgeting rests with the Board of AA, which can only be formulated following meaningful consultations with MAs and other athletics bodies and stakeholders. Resources need to be allocated on the basis of the extent to which they contribute to the achievement of the sport’s key objectives and priorities. Listed below are the priorities which the Steering Committee believes best reflect solutions to the current challenges facing athletics, and which will have the greatest impact in positioning athletics well for the future. AA has advised that some of these recommendations are either in place or are in the process of implementation. 1. Financial stability: AA needs to pay urgent attention to developing and implementing a sound financial strategy that underpins the future success of the sport. 2. Coaching: AA must accept responsibility for and be accountable for coaching. It must develop a vibrant coaching system which, with the support and guidance of ATFCA, will produce coaches at all levels who provide inspiration and establish an environment where athletes learn and improve their performances. This is particularly critical at club level. 3. Club restructure: AA needs to restructure its club system. Effective from 1st April 2005, AA should implement a model club policy developed with its MAs that requires all clubs based in metropolitan areas and in major regional centres with populations greater than 20,000 to meet threshold criteria. To facilitate this change, AA needs to provide immediate and ongoing support and advice at State and local level, through workshops, ongoing access to expert advice and web and email support. 4. Hubs network: In order for AA and MAs to provide a local focus for athletics, be it competitions, training or access to resources for clubs, coaches and officials, AA and MAs need to develop regional athletics Hubs. The Hubs would be based around athletics facilities, and receive support from MAs and, subject to negotiation, the relevant SIS/SAS, State sports departments and local councils. The Hubs network aims to consolidate resources needed by recreational, development and high performance athletes, coaches and officials at central locations. 5. High Performance: AA needs to review its high performance structure to effect a change in culture, including the appointment of a NPD to replace the position of head coach to lead delivery of the High Performance Plan and Program. The NPD should be supported by a network of State Performance Managers, full time National Event Group Coordinators and a National Youth Performance Manager. Implementation strategy AA needs to prepare, in consultation with MAs and other stakeholders, a new strategic/business plan that considers the recommendations in this report and overlays strategies with financial realities and priorities. AA needs to ensure the successful implementation of this Report’s recommendations through an appropriate process of communication, garnering support and securing buy-in from stakeholders to re-create a culture. This will require the appointment of key people, including a member or members of the AA Board and AA’s CEO, prepared to be responsible and accountable for working inclusively with stakeholders on implementing the recommendations.
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In order to complete its task and submit its report to the Boards of AA and the ASC by 31 July 2004, the Steering Committee adopted the following approach: 1. Appointment of members to Governance, Development and High Performance working groups to provide advice to assist the Steering Committee develop its understanding of the issues and formulate its recommendations 2. Arrangement by the secretariat for all members of the Steering Committee and working groups to: a. sign confidentiality agreements in relation to their involvement in the review b. have professional indemnity insurance cover provided. 3. Establishment of a web site to promote the review and encourage written submissions 4. Liaison with other stakeholders to promote the review and invite submissions (eg ATFCA, ALA) 5. Establishment of a dedicated email address for written submissions 6. Call for submissions, with a closing date of 30 April 2004. One hundred and thirty three written submissions were received (details at Appendix C) 7. Invitations to key stakeholders to make oral presentations to the Steering Committee 8. Face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders (details at Appendix C). In all, thirty two interviews were held with representatives of: a. members of the AAF b. MAs c. ALA and State little athletics associations d. State governments’ sports departments e. AIS and SIS/SAS Note: It was decided not to interview sponsors because of the commercial sensitivities of negotiations between AA and sponsors at the time 9. Face-to-face interviews with interested parties who requested an interview. Interviews were conducted in all mainland capital cities except Darwin, and in Launceston. Forty-four interviews were held (details at Appendix C). 10. Meetings with the Chairman, senior management and former staff of AA 11. Discussions with television organisations SBS, ABC and the Seven network 12. Discussions with staff of the ASC to examine other sports’ structures 13. Analysis of written and oral submissions 14. Analysis of correspondence addressed to the Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport referred to the Steering Committee 15. Written requests for advice on their athletics structures and programs from the national bodies responsible for athletics in Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom. 16. Review of prior reports and other documentation. While a full list of these reports and documents appears at Appendix G, the primary references for this Review were: a. Review of Structure and Governance of Athletics in Australia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, July 1998 b. The State of Domestic Athletics Competition in Australia, Brian Roe 2002 c. Review – Methods to Increase Participation Levels in Domestic Athletics, Athletics Australia response to B Roe Paper, 2003
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d. Change or Die, A Report on Research Conducted Into the Sport of Athletics in Australia, Michels Warren Marketing, September 1989; e. Moving On, A review of the need for change in athletics in the UK, Sir Andrew Foster, May 2004; f. High Performance Advisory Panel Interim Report, Australian Sports Commission, March 2004;
g. The Status of Track and Field, John Landy, 1985 h. A National Performance Strategy for Australia, F McEwen 1985 17. In addition, the High Performance working group considered presentations from: a. AA’s High Performance Manager, Tudor Bidder b. AA’s Head Coach Keith Connor; and c. former Australian Swimming national coach, Don Talbot. 18. Review of the report “Financial Management Review Athletics Australia June 2004”, undertaken by chartered accountants PKF, who were engaged for the purposes of the review (see summary of findings at Appendix F) 19. Consideration by the Steering Committee of all information collected for clarification of the issues and formulation of the recommendations contained in this report. The Steering Committee took the view that its Terms of Reference required it to focus on two key elements of the sport, being pathways for athletes and coaches at all levels, and the governance and management of athletics in Australia. The report addresses key issues under these two headings. The report follows a format of identifying each issue, summarising the findings of the review on each issue and making recommendations addressing each issue. Part A addresses the Terms of Reference in respect of pathways. The recommendations are then subdivided into the development and high performance components of the pathway, with a set of recommendations specifically aimed at the linkages between the two ends of the pathway continuum. Part B addresses the Terms of Reference in respect of governance and management of the sport, including the roles and linkages between athletics bodies.
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Findings and Recommendations
Pathways – Athletes, Coaches and Officials
The Review received numerous suggestions about the best way to provide ongoing opportunities for athletes, coaches and officials who participate in athletics. This impacts at club, State, national and international levels, and is addressed in this Part.
Issue # 1 Grass roots and development pathway
Many submissions, surveys and research referred to by the Steering Committee and working groups identified that many potential participants, their families and teachers currently view athletics (other than little athletics and internal school competitions) as a sport only for the talented and elite. It is important to acknowledge the need for the sport to have two, where necessary distinct, pathways for its key participants (athletes, coaches and officials): one for those who participate for their interest, health and recreation – the recreational pathway; and another for those seeking to be involved in an elite pathway. In regard to the recreational pathway, the evidence provided suggests that there has been a lack of significant direction and strategy in this area of development in its broadest sense. Whilst AA has maintained a commitment to initiatives such as Team Athletics, Indigenous Sport, Project CONNECT (sport for people with a disability) and Running Australia, it does not appear to have addressed adequately any of the ongoing athletic pathway issues within the sport relating to club development, junior development (13-18), school sport, coaching or officiating. Team Athletics has focused on an age group that is younger than AA’s core ‘junior age category’ and has had very little impact on the membership of AA in return for the significant financial investment made. Also, participation through Running Australia has not significantly increased involvement in the sport of athletics or the revenue base of AA. The Steering Committee questions whether they should remain a part of AA’s development strategy. In its review of possible involvement in school-based programs, AA should take note of the Federal Government’s initiative to create an Active After-school Communities program aimed at primary school children. This initiative provides an opportunity for AA to contribute to this new program for the benefit of the community and sport, with consequent benefits for AA’s development. A significant issue for AA in the transition process for juniors in athletics from little athletics is the change in cultures experienced between AA and ALA. The review recognises that the delivery of little athletics is defined by different ages in each State. AA should therefore encourage each MA to enter into discussions with its State little athletics counterpart to agree on an appropriate transition plan for athletes between little and senior athletics, including competition age group categories, calendar co-ordination and introduction/orientation programs. Also relevant is research suggesting that young people, particularly in the 13-15 age category, are likely to change their minds on several occasions as to what they do or do not like. This cultural shift between AA and ALA, and the social behaviour of this transitory age group, needs to be taken into consideration in planning the athletics transition pathway, as it appears that there is a significant number of juniors, in both AA and ALA, who will choose not to progress through into the next level (in the case of the talented athlete) or phase (in the case of junior recreational athletes) of the sport. Athletics needs to ensure that it has suitable programs in place that encourage athletes of all abilities to continue their involvement in the sport. In the case of the elite pathway, talent identification is not undertaken in a systematic manner, with no existing nationally coordinated talent identification plan for the sport. Previously conducted
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talent identification programs have ceased due to insufficient numbers and involvement of club coaches and others to undertake this function at club, school and little athletics events.
Recommendations 1. That AA, in consultation with its MAs, ALA, SIS/SAS, State departments of sport and SSA agrees a long-term national development strategy and plan which incorporates responsibilities for junior development and participation (including clinics, camps and the possible reintroduction of Oz Squads), school sport, club development and coach/officials education. 2. That AA encourages each MA to extend the national initiative in recommendation 1 by undertaking discussions with its State little athletics counterpart to agree to an appropriate transition plan for athletes between little and senior athletics, including calendar coordination and introduction/orientation programs. These discussions to include the appropriate little athletics age categories for metropolitan and regional areas in each State for the purposes of talent identification and introduction/orientation programs of the MA. 3. That AA, in consultation with its MAs, ALA and sponsors, reviews the viability and appropriateness of the Team Athletics and Running Australia programs. 4. That AA works with ALA to determine the best approach to utilize the opportunity of the Federal Government’s Active After-school Communities initiative. 5. That AA initiate research into 13-15 year olds’ participation in athletics, looking at motivations for continued involvement and which athletics products are attractive to the age group. This research should be undertaken jointly with ALA.
Issue # 2
The submissions highlighted significant concern at the current state of athletics clubs, their viability and activity. The many people who willingly give their time now, do so with limited resources, training or advice on how to improve current practices. Too few clubs operate effectively, while too many clubs are out-dated in their practices, reluctant to consider change and irrelevant to the needs of today’s societal recreational sporting needs. This makes it difficult for clubs and the sport to respond to the needs of recreational and developing elite athletes. Athletics needs to build a strong club base to support both recreational and developing elite athletes (many of whom will not necessarily be so identified in the initial period of their involvement in athletics). Hard decisions need to be made to rationalise current club structures and numbers, and to improve resourcing and support, acknowledging that clubs are a channel for grass roots involvement in the sport. The Steering Committee heard that the rise in profile and power of the Institutes had reduced the capacity of clubs to maintain links with their athletes as they entered the elite pathway, and limited clubs’ capacity to benefit from that association eg. attract sponsorship. A mechanism is needed to allow clubs to benefit from elite athlete performances by their members while giving due recognition to Institutes and governments for their investment in athletes. It is accepted that in order for clubs to be stronger and more effective, they will need greater support and opportunities to be more self sufficient, such as the ability to offer exposure to sponsors and other supporters, through a greater presence in high level competition. The club, rather than the State should therefore become the representative body for athletes, particularly at senior level. In considering initiatives to make clubs stronger, AA needs to preserve the interests and support of existing stakeholders, particularly the Institutes, upon whose investment in high performance AA is so reliant.
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Recommendations 6. That by the end of the first quarter of 2005, AA and MAs implement a model club policy which will require all clubs based in metropolitan areas and in regional centres with populations greater than 20,000 to have: a. minimum competing first claim membership numbers at any given time of at least 50, rising to 75 in the second year and 100 in the third b. at least three members with a minimum Level C AAOES officials grading c. at least one member with level II or lll and three members with level 1 ATFCA coaching qualifications d. access to adequate training facilities and equipment e. sufficient athletes to field a full team in designated club competitions f. adequate business and financial plans g. policies in relation to such matters as member protection and anti-harassment that are appropriate to their State’s jurisdiction. 7. That AA and its MAs conduct workshops in each State and provide development officers or consultants to work with clubs to meet the requirements in recommendation 6 and, where appropriate, to facilitate the amalgamation of clubs. 8. That AA seeks government support at all levels to facilitate the formation and development of clubs seeking to comply with AA’s model club structure, and provide incentives and programs to assist with club reform. 9. That AA provide those clubs satisfying recommendation 6 above with support to establish a web and email presence for the purpose of internal and external communication with members and the public. 10. That with the exception of inter-school competitions (in which athletes will represent their school), national school championships and interstate teams matches (in which athletes will represent their State), athletes represent their first claim club. At A Series/grand prix meetings, where it is a requirement of their scholarship, Institute scholarship holders may represent their Institute. 11. That AA initiates discussions with Institutes and MAs to explore options for providing recognition to an athlete’s club of origin while maintaining the support provided by Institutes.
Issue # 3
A recurring issue arising from submissions and meetings is that the current state of grassroots ‘interclub’ competition is in crisis. Current competition structures in place vary from State to State, but principally have remained relatively unchanged for many years. These structures tend to reflect the preferences of existing participants without regard to the need for the sport to be relevant to changing family/societal circumstances. It is widely accepted that interclub competitions are poorly structured with long drawn out programs, which are often referred to as ‘boring’. This level of competition is the main ‘shop front’ of senior athletics, needing to attract and retain transitional athletes from both schools and little athletics. Membership growth varies but at best is minimal, consequently there is difficulty
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in securing volunteers to conduct local meets and there is very little parental or family involvement. Many submissions call for participation by elite and developing elite athletes in club competition to help address the fall off in numbers. Decisions by elite athletes and their coaches not to participate in club competitions are viewed as being detrimental to the long-term health of the sport. AA in association with MAs initiated a number of national competition reforms in May 2004. These address matters raised in submissions to both the Roe Report and to this review such as too many national level competitions for young athletes and a lack of transition competitions for under 23 athletes. The reforms have also provided an increased focus for team and club based competition at national level. Further concerns exist over the decline of the Grand Prix or A Series, and to a lesser degree the championship programs, which in the 1990’s proved to be a successful medium, meeting the competition needs of the elite and drawing media and sponsorship interest in the sport. It appears that since 2000, the organisation of these meetings by the AA office became too centralised, resulting in a disengagement of a highly qualified and enthusiastic volunteer base throughout the country, and a lack of incentive for local organising committees/MAs to contribute as fully as they might. Consequently AA needs to explore the advantages of a greater emphasis on partnership arrangements with MAs in the delivery of A Series and national championship competition, a reengagement of the volunteer base at the local level, and a redefining of the roles and responsibilities of AA and MA personnel in the conduct of the events. The A series should focus more on elite/developing elite competition, with the next level down of athletes being catered for through State and national championships and re-invigorated local competitions. A greater emphasis on the involvement of international athletes was widely suggested to raise the profile of these meets, provide greater competition for Australia's best and an entrée to international competition for the developing elite, and increase opportunities for Australians to train with visiting athletes and coaches whilst they are in Australia. In order to find funding for these purposes, a redirection of some of the funding presently allocated to promotion and publicity of the A Series is a common suggestion. Consultation by the Steering Committee with several television media organisations reinforced the importance of the television media to improve the profile of the sport, and to leverage corporate support for AA’s activities. Traditionally presented track and field competition faces strong challenges from other forms of media friendly sport. The Steering Committee found that there was strong interest by the television networks in providing free to air coverage of events that showcased high profile athletes in a quality and media friendly competition format. That interest extended to a willingness to work with AA to develop an appropriate format which would be attractive to television. AA needs to pursue vigorously a partnership with a selected free to air network to develop a suitable product.
Recommendations 12. That AA and MAs review the types of competitions currently offered at local and State level with a view to providing dynamic, team oriented and flexible opportunities for the recreational ‘club’ athletes and developing elite athletes. This review to establish a set of broad and specific guidelines under which MAs organise their competitions. 13. That coaches, Institutes and MAs work together to schedule State championships within a national competitions framework that maximizes participation by Australia’s elite athletes.
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14. That the competition period in each State prior to 31 December is designated for schools and school-based competitions, culminating as is presently the case with the Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships and Schools Knock Out National Final. 15. That January to April is designated as the principal season for track and field club, State and national competitions. 16. That discussions take place with relevant bodies to consolidate dates for domestic elite and grass roots competition in cross country, mountain running, road walking and road (including ultra) running. 17. That there be five competition committees – Track and Field; Walking; Road Running and Cross Country; Officials; Facilities and Equipment – to advise AA’s Board and staff. Each should also have delegated operative and deliberative powers, the scope of which are set out in the General Rules of AA, and be appointed by and report to the AA Board through the CEO. 18. That AA explore with MAs opportunities to re-engage the volunteer base at local level to assist in the conduct of Telstra A series, including redefining the division of responsibilities between MAs and AA. 19. That AA, with the support of appropriate media expertise, partner with one of the free to air networks to examine all aspects of the conduct and presentation of track and field competition in order to develop a product that showcases high profile international and Australian athletes in a quality and media friendly competition format.
Issue # 4
In relation to the recruitment, education, recognition, development and support of coaches, the review found that AA has failed to provide leadership. The number of coaches active in grass roots and club athletics is at crisis level. The ATFCA has taken responsibility for it, but coaching education has been under-resourced, albeit that AA has directed some of its ASC grant funding to the ATFCA. A vibrant coaching system is essential for the well being of the sport. It is difficult to overstate the critical importance of those good coaches at all levels who provide inspiration and establish the environment in which athletes learn and improve their performances. This environment exists in too few instances at present. While the ATFCA delivers programs to coaches at little athletics and senior athletics levels, the nature of these programs has remained essentially unchanged for twenty years, being level 0, l, ll, and lll accreditation courses, including the bridging course between level l and ll. There is wide consensus that the current courses provided by the ATFCA do not meet the needs of the now diversified interests and levels of involvement of both professional and volunteer coaches in the sport. While there are a number of excellent coaches at senior level they are too thinly spread and there is a critical lack of coaches available in clubs and schools. Access to accreditation in terms of course availability and cost are significant issues. These courses are considered to be too academic and not relevant to the needs of the target market. While ATFCA has begun the task of reviewing its courses, it is doing so with insufficient resources. (Further references to the role of the ATFCA in high performance coach education appear under Issue #13.) There is a need for coach accreditation courses to recognise the differing interests and ambitions of coaches. Some coaches wish to coach at junior and club level, others wish to progress with their talented developing athletes or to coach a national squad.
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Adequate support, education and mentoring of coaches are important to the development of elite athletes. Fear of poaching and the enforced relocation of athletes are significant issues for many coaches. The most prevalent view is that where coaches wish to progress with an athlete they coach, they should be encouraged and mentored to develop the required experience that enables them to do so. The Steering Committee supports this approach. For those seeking to serve as club coaches, it is equally important they are able to access information that ensures their knowledge and understanding remains current. The ATFCA has for more than 10 years advocated a recommended scale of fees for coaches but it appears that many coaches or clubs have not adopted it. A massive change in culture and thinking must be undertaken – the role of the club coach must be revered in athletics in Australia for the sport to flourish – and an acknowledgement that it is reasonable that they charge for their services, at least to cover their incidental expenses such as petrol, phone and equipment. AA should provide sufficient resources to enable an immediate review of coach recruitment, development and retention strategies, and coach education and accreditation structures, to address in particular the lack of coaching numbers at club level.
Recommendations 20. That AA accepts its inherent accountability and responsibility for coach recruitment, education (including accreditation), recognition, development and support. 21. That AA partners with Institutes, MAs and ATFCA to develop a coaching development plan addressing the issues in Recommendation 18, and contracts ATFCA to deliver defined coach education programs and services. 22. That AA, in partnership with ATFCA, revitalises coach education programs and immediately reviews the purpose, structure and content of coach accreditation courses to ensure they meet the contemporary needs of the sport. This process should take account of the programs and processes of sports training bodies considered to have successful coach education and development systems. 23. That education and support programs are provided where the coaches coach, at Hubs, through mentoring and advisory programs, and by linking into teaching courses by including specific units on track and field coaching as part of teacher education. 24. That AA, in partnership with Institutes, MAs and ATFCA, identifies or trains coaches nationally who can ‘coach the coaches’ and, from time-to-time, engages specialists to mentor or advise local coaches. 25. That AA establishes partnerships within and outside the sport to deliver the following three elements in its coach education and development programs: a. technical (e.g. ATFCA) b. applied (e.g. Institutes); and c. human resource support (e.g. specialist consultants).
26. That significant funds be redirected by AA for a two year period to assist in assessment, redevelopment and delivery of coaching courses and education opportunities for club level coaches.
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27. That a professional coaching development program be introduced across a number of event groups, including the use of visiting international coach educators to conduct clinics and demonstrations around Australia.
Issue # 5
Availability of qualified officials is critical to the conduct of successful athletic competition. Much work has been undertaken over the past decade to improve the education and development opportunities of both technical and administrative officials to meet the needs of AA’s international event commitments. This has led to a significant increase in the number of quality officials, many recognised at an international level. AA has recently reviewed the status of officiating in Australia. There are sufficient numbers of officials to fill positions for international events. This situation is not so at the State or local level. However, for the purposes of interclub competition the full complement of officials required for national or international competition is not necessary, and alternative structures can be applied. Every effort should be made to preserve Australia’s standing as a world leader in the organisation, management and conduct of athletics competitions. While there are sufficient numbers of officials at present for national and international competitions, it is important that this remain so. Of concern is the potential reduction of officials after the 2006 Commonwealth Games. There is a need to ensure suitable recruitment and retention strategies are in place through succession planning.
Recommendations 28. That AA releases the 2003/04 review undertaken into officiating to AA’s Officials Committee for its consideration and advice. 29. That a recruitment, retention and recognition strategy is implemented to ensure continued participation and development of officials post 2006, including the delivery of more officials courses in non-traditional environments which include, but are not limited to, teacher in service courses and inclusion within secondary and tertiary education and coaching courses 30. That talent identification systems for officials be developed together with appropriate strategies for a. ongoing assessment of the competencies of officials to officiate at various levels of competition within the sport b. succession arrangements, and c. for retirement 31. That registration fees for regular competition officials are eliminated or reduced to peppercorn levels and that adequate liability and personal accident insurance cover is provided by the sport. 32. That AA’s Officials Committee, in consultation with MAs’ officials’ coordinators, creates a set of guidelines and recommendations for the appropriate number of officials required for various levels of competition, to encourage rationalisation and improve the conduct of competitions.
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Issue #6 Linking Development and High Performance
The existence of a standardised development system is essential for the successful delivery of the High Performance Program. AA needs to resolve the following critical issues in determining the links between development and high performance: • • • • the role of clubs and school sport in the elite athlete development pathway the role of coaches in assisting to bridge the gap between little athletics and senior athletics to build trust and cooperation the need to focus earlier on talent identification; and ways in which the sport can increase the depth of sub-elite competitors.
The development and high performance components of the sport are linked through the athlete pathway. The objective is to provide a smooth transition for talented young athletes to enter and progress along the pathway. There must be a clear and agreed link between the high performance and development programs. The key players involved in the linking of these programs are the SIS/SAS and MAs. A structured, well-supported and standardised development program that incorporates a systematic approach to talent identification is the foundation of a successful High Performance Program.
Recommendations 33. That the elite athlete pathway commences at the age of 14 years and is supported by talent identification tracking programs for young athletes from 12 years of age. 34. That AA and its MAs work with SIS/SAS to establish a systematic talent identification program that includes school and junior sport events, as part of a coordinated national approach to the development of young athletes in Australia. 35. That a set of age standards be established, and a national register developed in which information needed as part of the talent identification process is collected and recorded. 36. That clubs have access to appropriate coaching and competition to assist with the ongoing development of identified athletes. 37. That the High Performance Program develops strategies to target retention and development of athletes as they progress from junior to senior ranks. 38. That key performance indicators be developed, as part of AA’s agreements with MAs and other key stakeholders, that enable the measurement of the success of links between AA’s development plan and its High Performance Program.
High Performance Pathway
The foundation for Athletics Australia’s High Performance Program should be the athlete and coach pathways specified in the High Performance Plan (i.e. from recruitment through to international achievement – see Figures 1 and 2).
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The Elite Athlete Pathway
Early Senior/ transition
Nationals Final & A-Series Nationals Medallist
National Team World Top 8 to Top 16
Injury/Loss of Form All Schools World Youth Games Junior Nationals World Juniors Australian Nationals A-Series/Domestic Grand Prix Commonwealth Games World Championships Olympic Games Note: Athlete development will not always mirror the above steps hence the approach requires some flexibility
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The Coach Pathway And Accreditation System
Level III Level II Level II – Young Athlete Level I Level 0 Own Squad
Clubs / Hubs
NPD / NYPM NEGCs
Progress from Assistant Coach to Coach to Head Coach (club/State/national)
Merit Based Coaching Coaching athletes at State, National and International standard Potential for selection on National Teams
Remuneration Remuneration should be negotiable for all levels of coaching. It may be in kind, reimbursement of expenses, fee for service, or time or project based. Level of remuneration is determined by a combination of accreditation/experience, athlete standard/age, and market forces. AA should develop guidelines and principles from which an individual coach’s fee structure can be determined. Appropriate remuneration acknowledges the expertise involved, reinforces the importance of coaching and may assist in retaining coaches so that they can continue to contribute to the sport.
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Issue # 8
The Objective of the High Performance Program
The high performance program must be driven by a culture that is relentless in the pursuit of excellence. AA has struggled to manage expectations of its high performance program since 2000. The sport’s publicly stated goal of achieving a top 5 Nation status was not achieved. AA’s own analysis shows that its current standing is top 15, with a target of top 10 a more realistic goal by 2008. The key objectives of the High Performance Program should be to increase the number of medals achieved and improve Australia’s standing in the IAAF point score at major international competitions (Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games). In addition to this, the High Performance Program must target an increase in the number of athletes improving their rankings at major international competitions.
Recommendations 39. That the key objectives for the High Performance Program are to: a. increase the number of medals won and improve Australia’s standing in the IAAF points score at major international competitions (Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, etc); and b. increase the number of athletes improving their rankings at major international competitions.
Issue # 9
Structure of the High Performance Program
A number of stakeholders identified the need for those who are in lead roles in AA’s high performance program to have good people management skills as well as good systems management skills. These are viewed as important leadership qualities when dealing with volunteer coaches and athletes. The approach should be challenging, even demanding, but within an environment that is consultative and inclusive. A number of submissions expressed confusion about the roles and responsibilities of the head coach, high performance manager, SIS/SAS Head Coaches, elite volunteer coaches and ATFCA in leading the high performance program.In setting the future direction of the high performance program, AA must seek to secure the commitment of stakeholders by communicating expectations, and articulating roles and responsibilities. The Steering Committee has recommended that the High Performance Program should operate under the direction of a NPD supported by a National Youth Performance Director, and a network of National Event Group Coordinators and State Performance Managers. There is strong feedback from submissions that better support for specific event groups including the disability and junior/youth development areas is required to improve the achievement of high performance program outcomes. AA needs to ensure that clubs, athletes and coaches are able to access suitable facilities and information. The Steering Committee considers the best way for this to be achieved is through the formation of several regional Hubs in each State, to provide centers for competition, training and resources.
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Recommendations 40. That the position of ‘Head Coach’ to lead the High Performance Program is replaced with the position of ‘National Performance Director’, who is primarily a systems and people manager with strong interpersonal skills and an in-depth understanding of the sport. 41. That the NPD be supported by an Advisory Committee to assist with planning, promoting, communicating and implementing the High Performance Plan. The Advisory Committee to be appointed by the AA Board, and comprise an AA Board member, an ASC representative, and three other members. 42. That a National Youth Performance Manager, responsible for talent identification age group programs, and programs and services to athletes and coaches participating at the World Junior and Youth levels, is appointed to assist the NPD. 43. That the NPD is assisted by a number of full-time national event group coordinators employed by AA. That, ideally, these national event group coordinators not coach a personal squad of athletes. 44. That based on the targets contained in the High Performance Plan, national event group coordinators focus on: a. improving the performances of athletes identified in their respective event groups, including athletes with a disability.; and b. educating and mentoring coaches. 45. That MAs: a. establish geographic regions or “Hubs” where, ideally, all the resources necessary to achieve success are available to athletes, coaches and officials b. ensure each Hub caters for a range of event groups, including athletes with a disability, for coaching and training purposes c. locate Hubs at track and field facilities d. establish financial support criteria for each Hub based on the number of event groups covered by, and performance of, the Hub e. require Hub coaches to participate in national coach education initiatives; and f. regularly assess Hubs against required criteria. 46. That the State’s Hubs structure and responsibilities are defined in the State’s high performance plan. 47. That AA consult with each MA and SIS/SAS to develop an MOU which sets out the expectations and key performance indicators for the employment, by each SIS/SAS, of a State Performance Manager whose responsibilities include the implementation of the Hub concept. 48. That a joint management committee, comprising a representative from AA, SIS/SAS and MA, evaluates the performance of the State Performance Manager under the terms of the MOU.
Issue # 10
Roles, Responsibilities and Funding Input of Institutes
Athletics has suffered from a fractured approach, rather than a shared national vision and collegiate approach to the planning and delivery of the sport’s High Performance Program. AA and the Institutes must work together to agree an in-principle direction for high performance. It is envisaged that SIS/SAS will provide support mechanisms to employ a State Performance Manager for athletics and to provide merit-based support to targeted coaches in the system. The AIS should be a key player in the delivery of AA’s High Performance Plan, particularly in relation to the specialised support that it can offer.
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AA must articulate its high performance vision and provide strong leadership that better defines the roles, responsibilities and funding contributions of Institutes. This must be accompanied by an effective communication strategy.
Recommendations 49. That AA takes ownership of the High Performance Plan and is accountable for its outcomes. 50. That AA provides the vision and leadership necessary to deliver the sport’s High Performance Plan, including gaining the support of and establishing effective partnerships with the ASC, Institutes and MAs. 51. That AA recognises the AIS as a key player in the delivery of its High Performance Plan particularly in relation to elite services and specialised support that can be delivered centrally as required. 52. That SIS/SAS provide support mechanisms for coaching which focus on: a. employment of the State Performance Manager, and b. merit-based financial and other assistance to volunteer coaches through the Hubs in their State. 53. That through the State’s Hubs network, merit-based support to volunteer coaches be allocated to assist volunteer coaches to participate in State and national event group camps as part of their continuing education. 54. That in the delivery of the High Performance Plan, Institutes formally acknowledge that they: a. b. c. d. e. f. share AA’s high performance vision endorse AA’s high performance plan accept the leadership and direction of AA’s NPD accept their role and responsibilities under the high performance plan will invest funding in accordance with the strategies and goals of the high performance plan; and will be accountable to AA for their performance.
55. That AA directs funding according to the goals, strategies and key performance indicators in the High Performance Plan, prioritised according to short and long term goals, as expressed in AA’s strategic/business plan, and targeted to progressive Olympic cycles. 56. That to effectively manage and implement the athlete and coach pathways in the High Performance Plan, AA, through its NPD: a. advise stakeholders on the specific components of the athlete and coach pathway they are to deliver b. establish key performance indicators and a formal system of objective performance evaluation; and c. develop a centralised database to track athletes’ progress. 57. That funding partnerships be established that reflect each partner’s role and responsibilities.
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Issue # 11
Link between National Performance Director and Athletics Australia’s Board
The proposed position of NPD must be accountable to AA’s CEO, for the strategic direction and results of the sport’s high performance strategies. The NPD must be given sufficient delegated authority and support to manage and deliver the High Performance Plan and Program. In turn, the AA Board must ensure that it retains sufficient awareness and understanding of the delivery of the high performance strategy, by having the NPD regularly attend AA Board meetings to report on the progress of the High Performance Program.
Recommendations 58. That the NPD is accountable to the CEO for the outcomes in the High Performance Plan. 59. That the NPD regularly attends Board meetings to report on progress of the High Performance Program.
Issue # 12
Selection and Support of Merit-based Coaches
As noted under Issue #4, the area of coaching was raised in submissions as one of major concern. Specifically there appears to be a lack of support available to both professional and volunteer coaches, with the majority of available support directed to the professional coaches. This practice overlooks the significant contribution of volunteer coaches to the results achieved by elite athletes. To improve this situation and effect a change in coaching culture, there is a need for the High Performance Program to recognise the primacy of the athlete/coach relationship by recognising and supporting both professional and volunteer coaches. Merit-based support of coaches involved in the elite athlete pathway is fundamental to maintaining and enhancing the athlete/coach relationship. Merit–based support means that support is based primarily on the performances of the coach’s current athletes, and the coach’s involvement in mentoring and training other coaches.
Recommendations 60. That the High Performance Program recognises and supports the primacy of the athlete/coach relationship. 61. That high performance funding and professional development support to all coaches is based on merit, supported by regular assessment of coach performance. 62. That the High Performance Advisory Committee develops operating guidelines for a merit-based coach support system, which links coach support to the performances of the coach’s current athletes, and takes into account the coach’s involvement in Hub- based mentoring programs and such other factors as the committee thinks fit. 63. That agreements between AA and Institutes ensure that professional coaches focus on providing practical coaching experience, rather than administration and coordination, to ensure that their skills and expertise are used to the best advantage of the High Performance Program.
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64. That key performance indicators associated with each stage of the athlete pathway are identified and linked to a support and assessment structure for those coaches involved, and identified in funding or employment agreements with those coaches.
High Performance Coach Education
A number of submissions questioned the effectiveness of the ATFCA in leading the development and education of high performance coaches in the technical, applied and human resource support areas. More specifically it was felt that AA should take the lead role in high performance coach education, including linking more effectively with the AIS and SIS/SAS to help deliver a more effective education and development program. Many submissions called for the role of ATFCA as a service provider in high performance coach education to be reviewed. AA must establish a comprehensive coach education and development program in the areas of technical, applied and human resource support for high performance coaches.
Recommendations 65. That AA is accountable and responsible for high performance coach education and development as part of its High Performance Program. 66. That AA’s high performance coach education and development program adopts a practical focus characterised by: a. modern attitudes to coaching that recognise world’s best practice b. understanding and use of sports science and sports medicine c. human resource management d. program planning (ie: monthly, quarterly and annual) e. financial planning and budgeting; and f. a knowledge of the rules of the sport. 67. That AA and the AIS jointly address the role of the AIS in supporting high performance coach education programs, through access to AIS facilities and resources. 68. That AA includes high performance coach education as one of the key performance indicators in agreements with Institutes for the delivery of AA’s High Performance Program.
Issue # 14
High Performance Athlete Support
High performance athletes require support in the areas of funding (training, equipment, etc), science, medicine, coaching, competition and career and education counselling. The current support system is fragmented, making it difficult for athletes when attempting to access support. Communication from AA to the athlete is sometimes unclear, while athletes have not always been responsive to attempts to improve the level of communication. Athletes in receipt of support must be accountable. They need to understand and accept personal responsibility for their performances and the management of their daily lives, as well as the obligations placed on them as a consequence of their acceptance of assistance from AA, Institutes and other supporters. The Steering Committee felt that the Athletes’ Commission could play a greater role in facilitating communication from AA to athletes, as well as in providing advice to AA about
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athlete support policies. In turn, the Athletes’ Commission must take responsibility for, and be accountable for its role in the provision of advice. The range of support opportunities available to elite athletes needs to be clearly defined and communicated. This support includes access to direct funding, coaching, sports science, sports medicine, education, vocation, counseling and domestic and international travel.
Recommendations 69. That AA reviews the process for distribution of information to athletes for purposes of direct athlete support including training and competition, sports science, sports medicine, coach education and support, self-education and vocation. 70. That the allocation of funding and support to athletes is tailored according to individual athlete/coach requirements and within uniform guidelines and available resources. 71. That AA consult with the Athletes’ Commission in the process of formulating and reviewing athlete support policies, 72. That funding and support to athletes and coaches is reviewed annually by the NPD, based on their performances. 73. That direct financial support to athletes is commensurate with their needs and stage of progression along the athlete pathway. That to better coordinate this support AA consults the AIS and SIS/SAS to establish an integrated support system, led by AA.. 74. That the development and performance of athletes and coaches is monitored and evaluated over an extended period of time within the context of an agreed training program. That, to fulfil this requirement, the NPD oversees the establishment of athlete and coach agreements that clearly articulate the roles and responsibilities of all parties. 75. That the NPD establishes and manages effective communication strategies to optimise the retention of athletes in the sport’s pathway. These strategies to include consultation with the Athletes’ Commission.
Issue # 15
Selection of National Teams for International Competitions
A number of submissions expressed a view that AA was at times inconsistent in applying selection criteria for Australian teams at major championships such as Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games. This relates to areas such as the communication of selection requirements, the selection standards, team size, and the consequential effects of weather conditions on satisfying selection criteria. The Review did not find this view to be justified. There were also concerns about the planning for and organisation of teams and tours for international competition, including a perception by some of a lack of transparency and long term planning in the appointment of team officials, coaches and support personnel. The review was concerned that for some larger teams, it was not always the case that persons with suitable qualifications and/or experience as managers and officials were being appointed to management positions. To foster and encourage development of elite athletes, AA needs transparent selection criteria based on IAAF performance standards that maximise national representation at major championships, consistent with the objectives of the high performance program detailed under Issue #8. The Steering Committee considers that the workload of the NPD will make it difficult for this person to take on the duties of team coach for all AA national teams. However, the Steering Committee acknowledges that this is an area of direct relevance to the responsibilities of the NPD position and that, therefore, it would not be unreasonable if the NPD were appointed as
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team coach for major teams to world championships and Olympic and Commonwealth Games. The AA Board should endorse all national team selections and appointments. In order to avoid perceived or actual conflicts of interest, the Steering Committee felt that coaches of any athletes selected in national teams should not be appointed to team manager positions. In making appointments, the steering committee’s view is that coaches should not be appointed as team managers unless they possess the necessary skills, and there is no perceived or actual conflict of interest in relation to the athletes selected.
Recommendations 76. That AA maintains a transparent selection system that seeks to maximise national representation at major international competitions, consistent with the objectives of the High Performance Program. These major competitions are Olympic Games, World Championships, World Junior Championships and Commonwealth Games. 77. That for non-major competitions, AA maintains an appropriate qualification and selection process that encourages athletes towards achieving their targeted high performance outcomes. 78. That criteria for selection are documented and distributed to athletes and coaches prior to the commencement of the qualifying period for each competition. 79. That a review of selection criteria is conducted following each major championship. 80. That the NPD be appointed as head team coach for major international competitions (with the possible exception of the World Junior Championships), but should not be involved in day to day matters in respect of team management and administration. 81. That the AA Board appoints an International Tours Committee as an advisory committee to the NPD. It should provide advice regarding selection policies for athletes to participate in overseas competition, and regarding suitable international competition programs and tours for Australian teams, including the recommendation of suitable persons for appointment as team officials, coaches and medical and other personnel. 82. That the appointment of team personnel to national teams is based purely appropriate skills and experience, with particular care taken to avoid conflicts of interest where coaches may be under consideration.
Domestic Competition for High Performance Athletes
The domestic competition program is in decline for a number of reasons. These include a perceived lack of support for domestic events by elite athletes, a perceived absence of a team culture due to the poor support for relays and a loss of interstate rivalry. Concern was also expressed that the balance between involvement in domestic competition and overseas competition should be controlled through agreements between AA and the athletes and their coaches. AA must provide a vibrant competition program for senior and developing athletes. Athlete and coach agreements must detail the participation requirements of the athlete. An important aspect to re-establishing a healthy club culture is for elite athletes and their coaches to contribute, whenever possible, to their club’s activities and to club and domestic competitions. In this sense, AA needs to be steadfast in its requirements of those elite athletes receiving AA support. The value of bringing selected top athletes to Australia for training and competition was raised in a number of submissions. It is felt that as a first step a more effective use of AA’s funds is
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to reinvigorate the domestic competition with increased participation by competitive athletes primarily from the Asia/Oceania regions. Differing opinions were expressed about the status of mountain running and ultra running within AA’s High Performance Program. AA needs to clarify its position in these areas.
Recommendations 83. That to facilitate international competition in Australia, AA seeks to reinvigorate the domestic grand prix (i.e. A-Series) by increasing the involvement of competitive athletes from the Asia/Oceania regions. 84. That AA seeks to develop strategic partnerships with Asian and Oceania countries to achieve this increased involvement. 85. That AA establishes an elite competition for top ranked athletes at World Youth, Junior and Under 23 levels, and invite participation from Oceania and Asia. 86. That competitions be introduced that provide for team-based events, including relays, at intra-State (Hubs) level and at State and national level, based on team point scores. 87. That athlete and coach agreements reflect AA’s expectations of athletes’ participation in a pre-determined number of domestic competitions, and requirements of these athletes to attend education and training programs, that better prepare them and their coaches for successful performances in international competitions. 88. That AA assesses whether mountain running and ultra running should be active components in AA’s elite development and international representative programs, and if so, how this should best be achieved.
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Governance and Management System
Issue # 17 Financial Management
AA faces a serious financial position. This is borne out by the report of consultants PKF, which independently reviewed the financial structure and processes of AA (See Appendix F for summary of findings). The Board and management of AA has paid increased attention to improve the financial systems and processes, including forming an audit committee and attendance and reporting by the CFO at Board meetings. However these actions have occurred only recently and their effect cannot be measured yet. The Board needs to ensure it is across all aspects of AA’s finances, including accessing suitably robust or accurate information to inform it. The Board needs to familiarise itself by revisiting all programs from a position of cost-benefit and the business cases supporting them; by reviewing business practices, including budgeting; by preparing a full year’s cash flow projection for the 2005/2006 financial year; and by examining even more critically whether further expenditure reductions need to be made, including AA’s capacity to deliver against its tied commitments to sponsors, government, etc. The Board needs to assess AA’s capacity to operate within bank overdraft limits. The Board needs to assess its spending on development to ensure it is getting the best return for the sport.
Recommendations 89. That the Board receives financial reports comparing actual operating results to budget, on a cash and accruals basis, with exception reporting, and prepared independently of the CEO, on a monthly basis. 90. That the board receives bank reconciliation and aged debtors and creditors reports on a monthly basis to satisfy itself that payments are made within an appropriate time frame. 91. That the CFO addresses each Board meeting on the organisation’s financial status. 92. That, through the CEO and CFO, AA provides to MAs quarterly, summarised profit and loss and cash flow statements on its financial position. 93. That AA and MAs continue to enter into documented agreements or understandings which define their respective financial and other responsibilities, and that these understandings be discussed and finalised well in advance of the commencement of each MA’s financial year, as a part of the overall budget setting process of AA. 94. That the Board develops a procurements policy and procedures and receives reports on their application, including identifying new contracts and suppliers. 95. That the annual budget reflects agreed key result areas and strategies from the adopted strategic/business plan and input from key business/program managers of AA. 96. That the Audit Committee is chaired by a director, and comprises other members of the Board, who have appropriate financial qualifications. The Chairman should not be a voting member of the Audit Committee. 97. That AA’s auditor is invited (ideally on a pro bono basis given AA's financial position) to attend meetings of the Audit Committee as required. 98. That the roles of the Audit Committee include: a. review of compliance with appropriate accounting standards and accepted governance standards
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b. review of financial delegations c. review of the performances of senior executives against their budgets d. review of the annual budget and checking of assumptions underlying budget forecasts prior to budget’s consideration and approval by the Board e. review of external auditor’s performance.
Issue # 18
There is some concern that AA does not communicate effectively with some of its key stakeholders. Many in the sport feel disenfranchised as a result of the attitude of the Board and management towards them. Effective communication requires as much an informal, regular approach in addition to formal meetings and workshops. The Board needs to accept that this critical role should be performed far better in the future, consistent with the expectations of stakeholders.
Recommendations 99. That for at least the 12 months following the adoption of this report, the Chairman and CEO of AA hold, at minimum, quarterly meetings with the President and General Manager of each MA (face-to-face or phone) and major partners (e.g. sponsors, ALA, ASC) 100. That the CEO provides, monthly, a written report to MAs on key issues and developments. 101. That the Chairman and CEO hold half-yearly meetings of MAs to report on progress made. 102. That the Chairman allocates time to be proactive in contacting the Presidents of MAs and other key stakeholders in the sport for informal 'chats' on a regular basis. 103. That the annual members' forum continues to be held and incorporates a review of the sport’s strategic direction.
Issue # 19
Board and Management
Considerable concern has been expressed over the remoteness of the Board from the members of AA and the participants in the sport. At the same time, it needs to be recognised that AA has been able to improve its revenues thereby enabling it to be in a position to implement formal arrangements with MAs, which provide a basis for delivering direct funding to MAs. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these formal arrangements has been marred by the fact that AA has not developed arrangements in full consultation with the MAs. To exacerbate the position, particular operational targets for the MAs have been set which are unachievable given the resources available to the MAs. The Board needs to ensure that AA adopts proper business practices and applies best practice governance and management, using accepted tools such as policies, planning, processes, monitoring and performance reviews. It must ensure that effective communications systems are in place. The size of AA’s Board is appropriate, with directors needing to commit between 20-30 days annually, and with additional time commitment required of the Chairman. This time commitment includes Board meetings, committee meetings and functions/events.
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Delineation of the lines of accountability between the CEO and the Board in athletics is made difficult because the perceptions of what is expected of board members appear to differ between MAs and the Board members themselves. These expectations need to be clarified and clearly understood by all parties. The process for making Board appointments should provide an opportunity for MAs, in addition to directors, to nominate independent candidates. The Board needs to ensure it has amongst its number more directors with a contemporary knowledge of the sport. The Board should consider the need to establish Board committees on a needs basis, with direct accountability to the Board or senior management. The Board and CEO must be comfortable with the volunteers involved – the committees should not be allowed to become the “fiefdom” of a volunteer. It is probable that the Board has not spent enough time considering strategy and it appears that it does not yet have a credible strategy in place to address AA's long term funding needs. The Board needs to accept both criticism and responsibility for AA’s financial failures and the manner in which the sport has been run. The Board needs urgently to identify strategies that will help move the sport forward. It may be in the best interests of the sport for the Board to resolve upon changes in Board composition in order to help restore member confidence. A concern was expressed that AA had no formal or regular system for making appointments to external organisations, including positions on international athletics bodies or committees, or for external recognition of outstanding service to the sport, such as the Australian Honours, and that a mechanism to ensure this was addressed should be established. The Steering Committee supports this view. The Board must communicate clearly how it intends to respond to recommendations from the Athletics Review. Careful thought needs to be given to addressing the identified issues/recommendations, and an announcement made on any transitional proposals and timing. Stakeholder input should be sought in relation to transitional planning, and a commitment should be given by the Board to drive change with the support of the ASC. The Board needs to ensure clear policies exist for the employment and dismissal of staff, review of staff performance and review of management positions. Formal records of staff appraisals should be maintained.
Recommendations 104. That the Board determines a clear set of delegations and performance expectations required of the CEO. 105. That the Board reviews the expectations of the positions of Chairman and CEO, clarifies the lines of accountability between the CEO and the Board, and confirms the expectations of MAs in relation to AA directors. 106. That the Board appraises the performance of the CEO (and possibly reviews other senior staff positions such as NPD and CFO), and that reviews of performance occur regularly and, formally, at least annually, and that the results are documented. 107. That the Board reviews and approves the staffing structure of AA, and ensures that appropriate staff performance appraisal procedures are followed. 108. That the Board implements a policy requiring all senior positions to be publicly advertised, that all positions are advertised at least on the AA website, and a selection panel of at least three persons are involved in recruitment. 109. That the Board involves key staff in the preparation of strategic/business plans and budgets. 110. That the Board reviews and determines the skills AA requires of its Board members, including knowledge of the sport. The Board composition should ensure more members of the Board have credible and recognised athletics experience and an understanding of the demands placed on sports that are so reliant on volunteers.
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111. That MAs are given the right to nominate candidates for directorships, to be assessed by a Board appointed Nominations Committee, which would comprise members of the Board and others, with the possibility of some being drawn from MAs. 112. That directors are elected to the Board by members, and must be independent of MAs. “Independent” means that they do not concurrently hold a board, management or committee position with a MA or club. 113. That, to the extent the Board establishes committees to provide recommendations to the Board for appointment to external bodies, or technical input and support to management, this is done in a transparent and cost effective manner based on specific charters delineating their roles and reporting obligations to management and the Board. 114. That the Board reviews, discusses with management and approves a strategic/business plan for AA that a. has stakeholder input b. has a 3-5 year timeframe c. is reported against quarterly (performance against key result areas/indicators) d. is revised/updated annually in consultation with key stakeholders. 115. That the Board includes as part of its annual Board work plan, a review of board / director performance. 116. That the Board reviews the range of Board policies that exist to ensure this meets with accepted good governance practices. 117. That the Board addresses transitional arrangements associated with adopting the recommendations from the Athletics Review and their timing, and with support of the ASC. 118. That the Board updates its strategic/business plan and associated budget to reflect the impacts of those recommendations from this report it agrees to adopt. 119. That the Board establishes an Honours and Awards Committee to ensure that the contributions of members of the AA ‘family’ are appropriately recognised.
Athletics as a Sport in Australia
Issue # 20 Impact of 1998 PricewaterhouseCoopers Report
Some of the key recommendations contained in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report of 1998 have been embraced by the sport. A new Board structure for AA was achieved, and the Australian Athletics Federation was formed. A Memorandum of Understanding between AA and its MAs was developed following rejection by those Associations of a “franchise” structure. However, these changes have not always resulted in positive progress, and while conceptually positive have been less effective because of timing and poor communications issues, or in the AAF’s case because it was a replication of the board and management structure of AA and failed to attract the support of Australian Little Athletics. No national strategy has been developed and adopted by the sport as a whole and a number of proposed elements of AA’s strategy have either not progressed or failed to achieve the desired result e.g. marketing, branding, licensing, national athlete data base, performance monitoring framework, etc. The recommended division between governance and management has been maintained, however appropriate policies and procedures, and formal monitoring and review of key staff performances, are not evident, raising questions about the ability of the Board to satisfy itself that the business is being run properly.
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Issue # 21
Roles and Linkages between Athletics Bodies
AA, as the Australian member of the International Association of Athletics Federations, is responsible to the IAAF for ensuring the rules and regulations of the IAAF are applied to sanctioned athletics events in Australia and for fostering the development of athletics in Australia and elsewhere. The IAAF defines athletics to involve track & field, road running, race walking, cross country running and mountain running. Athletics in Australia is delivered through multiple national and State associations, many with overlapping roles and interdependence. The national body for athletics needs to be able to respond to the expectations and demands of its international body, the IAAF. Bodies such as the IAAF, ASC, AOC and ACGA will recognise and support only one national body for the sport. The plethora of national and State bodies, each dealing in its own way with separate elements of athletics, is far from ideal. Athletics as a sport in Australia would be best served if it were run by one truly national organisation. However, in the medium term it seems clear that it would be extremely difficult for particular athletics bodies to cede their responsibilities to AA, or to permit their operations to be taken over, or managed by AA, so as to enable it to become the single entity managing the sport of athletics in Australia. Failure by AA and ALA to achieve a partnership has led to failure of some otherwise innovative strategies and a continuing environment of mistrust and conflict. National planning, at AA or AAF levels, failed to eventuate. Nevertheless, it is important to providers and supporters of athletics that participants in ALA understand there is a pathway for them to 'senior' athletics. Opportunities exist for mutual benefit, but need to be formally recognised and supported. Close cooperation between the two bodies is essential for the benefit of participants and the sport. AA should take responsibility for, and be accountable for national athletics activities. This includes competitions; development of athletes, coaches and officials; and preparation of elite athletes and representative teams in IAAF sanctioned events. The urgent attention of AA’s Board and management is required to identify satisfactory arrangements that result in these areas of the sport being absorbed under AA’s structure. A possible arrangement may be the creation of specialist committees to absorb functions currently performed by other national bodies e.g. coaching. AA’s constitution already provides that other national bodies may become its members should these bodies wish to. The original intention of the AAF was to be an umbrella body of national organizations involved in athletics for planning and coordination of the sport’s development. It failed to attract involvement of Australian Little Athletics, and unreasonably elevated the voting status of some minor athletics groups on the basis they are separately incorporated associations above that of larger MAs to which the members of these smaller bodies, in most cases, also belong. There is no meaningful purpose in prolonging the AAF’s existence. It further complicates an already complicated national structure. Acknowledging AA’s responsibilities to coaches, the ATFCA should not be a member of AA in its own right. Rather, coaches should be accredited by, and become linked to, AA, through their membership of MAs and the ATFCA. The ATFCA’s role should be linked to education of coaches to standards required by AA for accreditation. AA could partner or contract ATFCA in this area, along with other training providers, to provide training courses.
Recommendations 120. That the AAF is disbanded. 121. That the number of separate athletics associations reduces over time through voluntary amalgamations or relinquishment of operations or voluntary dissolutions. AA’s Board and management to identify structures and processes within AA that encourage and
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result in AA assuming responsibility for services delivered by ATFCA; Australian Masters Athletics; Australian Race Walking Clubs; Australian Mountain Running; etc. That AA and ALA continue to pursue cooperative arrangements with a view to achieving a far more efficient pathway of athletic activities for young children and to maximise more effectively the potential for children to develop and pursue an interest in athletics as a sport. That AA considers carefully appropriate arrangements to integrate schools and professional elements of the sport under their banner. That AA puts in priority order and articulates a relationship with other athletics stakeholder groups based on merit and value to the sport in respect of its significance and relevance to the participation needs and international competition requirements. That AA moves towards developing one single registration system between MAs and Athletic Leagues (Australian Athletic Confederation). That AA looks at ways for MAs to undertake development opportunities at Athletic League events.
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A number of submissions expressed disappointment that previous reviews and reports had not been fully considered or implemented. Indeed the Steering Committee received feedback that some people declined to make a submission for this very reason. The Steering Committee notes that most recommendations in this report are not new. Despite the consistent recurrence of key themes and challenges facing the sport of athletics for at least twenty years, there has been a lack of sufficient commitment within the sport to respond to, and where appropriate implement, many of the changes recommended as beneficial to the sport’s future. The Steering Committee recognises the value of appointing an outside organisation to assist AA with the change process, but also notes that other factors may have a critical influence. During the course of the review the incumbent CEO of AA announced that he would not be renewing his contract with AA. The process of appointment of a new CEO is beyond the scope of this review’s Terms of Reference. Nevertheless, whatever change process is initiated as a result of this report, it is vital that the new CEO play a lead role in that process. The Steering Committee and working groups were impressed by the quality of the written and oral submissions received and in the calibre of many of the people involved. The Steering Committee believes there exists an enormous potential resource ‘pool’from which AA should seek to draw in the future. Communication has been the most vexed issue throughout the review process. Athletics relies on so many stakeholders, both organisations and individuals, for its success, that clear and effective communication must be the hallmark of all decision making and actions initiated by AA as a result of this review. There are critical stakeholders with whom AA must engage in the implementation of this report, including MAs, ATFCA, Little Athletics bodies, Institutes, and State departments of sport and recreation. Because of the importance of this consultation in order to gain stakeholder support and commitment, as well as the substantial cost likely to be involved, the Steering Committee recognises that AA may need to approach the ASC for additional financial assistance to conduct the initial phase of consultations. This report’s recommendations are provided without consideration to their financial parameters. The Steering Committee had neither the time nor sufficient information to cost its recommendations and assess the associated financial effect on the sport. Of greater importance is the articulation of the values and priorities on which any planning and budgeting decisions should be made. The Steering Committee has therefore identified priorities for resource allocation, which it believes reflect the values and key objectives detailed throughout the report. These are, in order: financial stability; coaching numbers and quality; club structures; Hubs networks and high performance leadership, underpinned by a new strategic direction and planned implementation phase.
Recommendation 127. That the AA Board, with the support of the ASC, agrees an implementation process and budget framework, taking into consideration the recommendations and priorities outlined in this report, and which includes ongoing consultation with all key stakeholders. 128. That AA approaches the ASC for additional financial assistance to conduct the initial phase of consultations which will be needed to gain the stakeholder support and commitment necessary to implement the recommendations from this report.
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A. B. C. D. E. F. G.
Terms of Reference Members of the Review Consultations and submissions Current membership and voting structure of AA Current structure of athletics as a sport in Australia PKF Financial management review of AA Documents reviewed
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A Terms of Reference
Steering Committee Terms of Reference To assess the effectiveness and capacity of existing pathways, including international performance, and to provide recommendations to enhance the education and development pathways for athletes and coaches at all levels. This includes taking into account the role of stakeholders, including particularly Australian Little Athletics, the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association, Athletes’ Commission, State Member Organisations and departments responsible for sport, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the network of State and territory Institutes and Academies (SIS/SAS). Liaison will also occur with the International Athletes’ body. These recommendations may include adjustments to existing governance and management systems, including financial management, communication networks, and/or integration of activities and operations. Working groups’ Terms of Reference
To assess the effectiveness and capacity of existing pathways, and to provide recommendations to enhance the education and development pathways for athletes and coaches at the grass roots and developmental levels. The roles of little athletics bodies, State departments responsible for sport, Athletes’ Commission and the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association should be considered, as well as the linkages between these organisations and Athletics Australia, its State Member Organisations and clubs. Critically assess the transition pathway for athletes from juniors to seniors and role and stage of talent identification programs.
To assess the effectiveness and capacity of existing pathways, including international performance, and to provide recommendations to enhance the education and development pathways for athletes and coaches at the developmental and elite levels. To review the impact of Athletics Australia’s 2005-2009 quadrennium high performance plan, and in particular to recommend strategies to meet any identified challenges for the roles of the Australian Institute of Sport and State and territory institutes and academies of sport.
To assess the effectiveness and capacity of, and to make recommendations to enhance the governance and management systems of Athletics Australia, including financial management, communication networks and / or integration of activities and operations. This assessment should take into account the review conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers during 1998, and include an analysis of the outcomes of the governance changes within Athletics Australia based on that review. To assess the effectiveness and capacity of, and to make recommendations to enhance the existing structures and governance of athletics as a sport in Australia, taking into account the roles of, and linkages between AA, Australian Little Athletics athlete’s groups, the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association and State/Territory Associations. These recommendations may include adjustments to existing governance and management systems, and/or integration of activities and operations.
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B Members of the review
Steering Committee Herb Elliott AC, MBE (Chair) Herb Elliott burst onto the international athletic scene in 1958 when he became the youngest athlete to break the four-minute mile. Herb cemented his place as an Australian legend by winning the gold medal in the 1500m at the 1960 Olympics, breaking his own world record in a time of 3:35.6. Unbeaten at the mile and 1500m distances, Herb is a former CEO of Puma North America and Director of Athlete and Corporate Relations with the AOC. Herb is Chairman of the Telstra Foundation, and is a director of Athletics Australia, Ansell Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group. Ken Roche AO Deputy Chairman, AA. Was a dual Commonwealth Games 440 yard hurdles champion in Perth in 1962 and Kingston in 1966. He was also a semi finalist at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. In business, Ken is the Chairman of Roche Holdings. Brian Roe Sports Consultant/Electorate Officer; President – Athletics Tasmania; Member – IAAF Technical Committee, AA Track & Field Commission, AA Officials Commission; Director – AFL Tasmania; International Technical Official (Athletics); Registered IAAF Athlete Representative; Columnist – Launceston Examiner; previously Competition Director (Athletics) – 2000 Olympics; General Manager – 1990 World Rowing Championships; Competitions Manager (AA) Michael Scott Michael commenced in the position of Director, AIS in May 2001. Prior to this, Michael was the Director of the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) since its establishment in early 1997. During that period, he was recognised as the NSW Sports Administrator of the Year (1999) by the NSW Sports Federation. He is a former Chairman of the National Elite Sports Council and a Board member of the Victorian institute of Sport. He has 20 years of experience as a sport administrator in Victoria, SA and NSW that has seen him work in all areas of high performance sport. Prior to that, Michael spent four years coaching swimming in the College system in the USA. Glynis Nunn-Cearns OAM Commenced her athletic career at nine in the country town of Toowoomba. Represented Australia in World Cups, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. Won gold in the Heptathlon at the 1984 Olympic Games. In her professional life, Glynis was a teacher for twenty two years, including Head of Department, has been manager of a major sporting facility and manager of an educational program. Currently the Executive Director of the ATFCA, a member of the IAAF Women’s Committee and a member of the AA National Selection Committee. Stephen Spargo Stephen Spargo is a Deputy Executive Partner of Allens Arthur Robinson in the firm's Banking and Finance department. He is the Deputy Chairman of Mitre 10 Australia Limited group of companies, a director of The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Limited, and a member of the Board administering the joint venture between the State of Victoria and the RASV for the redevelopment of the Melbourne Showgrounds. Stephen is also a member of the general committee of the Melbourne Cricket Club, a Director of Melbourne Cricket Club Foundation Limited; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne. Secretariat provided by Peter Sharpe (ASC)
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Development working group Brian Roe (Chair) Marjorie McNamara Marjorie has been involved with Little Athletics for 21 years as an administrator and official. She is a qualified official in timekeeping, place judging and recording, having officiated at Centre, Zone, State and National competitions. Marjorie received the Volunteer Involvement Program Official of the Year Award in Sydney in 2004. A former State treasurer and president, Marjorie is currently President of Australian Little Athletics, and a board member of AT&FCA. Marjorie has worked in the banking industry for many years, including Branch Manager, and is currently the manager for a community organisation in Brisbane dealing with 5 staff members and 2700 clients. Peter Ring AM Peter Ring AFC, is a consultant in "Critical Relationships and Organisational Leadership". He has worked with the likes of Toyota, Westpac, and the Australian Federal Police, and many other businesses and organisations over the last 18 years. He has also worked extensively with elite level of Swimming, Athletics, Baseball, Softball, Basketball and Archery both within and outside the AIS. In a previous life he was a fighter pilot, helicopter pilot, professional wool classer and instructor in Management Studies. Trevor Vincent Competed in the 1964 Olympic Games and won a Gold medal in the 1962 Commonwealth Games in the 3000m Steeplechase. Has been a manager of numerous Australian Teams in International competitions and is a selector for Victorian Teams. He is Vice President and Life Member of the Glenhuntly Athletic Club and a Member of the AA Out of Stadium Commission. Still a keen runner and has continual involvement in many aspects of athletics. Judy Flanagan Judy has worked in the Australian sports system for the past 22 years. Judy’s work experience at the AIS and the ASC has spanned 14 of these years and has been complemented by Judy’s volunteer experience as a coach, official, numerous sporting club roles and State sporting organisation board representation. Judy is currently the Manager of the ASC’s National Junior Sport Program. Colin Lane Colin has been an active ‘grass roots’ competitor and club committee member in a wide range of sports including swimming, water polo, hockey and AFL. Professionally, he has significant experience in government economic and business support activities. Since 1994 he has worked as a manager at both the State/territory and national levels of government in the area of sport participation and development, and is currently responsible for the ASC’s Sport Programs Unit. David Parkin Primary, secondary and tertiary teacher/lecturer for the past forty years with an expertise in both physical and sport education/coach education. Currently lecturing in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Sports Coaching at Deakin University. Over the same period, played, coached and administrated within the VFL/AFL, and is the current President Australian Football Coaches Association (Victorian Branch). David is also an AFL commentator for ABC radio. Secretariat provided by Sophie Keil (ASC) High Performance Working group Michael Scott (Chair) Don Talbot OBE Legendary swimming coach and leader for more than 50 years, with BA (Hons), MA (Canada); Australian National Swimming Coach from 1989 to 2001; Executive Director AIS 1980-1983; Olympic Swim Coach for Canada in Montreal 1976, and for Australia 1972, 1964, and 1960; recipient Australian Sports Hall of Fame 1991; International World Sports Hall of Fame Fort Lauderdale Florida 1979
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Rick Mitchell A triple Olympian, Rick won a silver medal in athletics at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Professionally, Rick has held a number of senior roles within the Public Sector, Financial Services and Telecommunications. He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, Victorian Regional Development Manager for MLC Life and CEO for the Western Australian Turf Club. More recently, Rick was the Queensland State Manager for Link Telecommunications prior to joining Archer Consulting Group as Senior Consultant. Rick is also a regular media presenter, contributor to daily newspapers and public speaker at corporate, sporting and event related functions. Raelene Boyle Raelene's distinguished sporting career spans Commonwealth games from 1970 to 1984 (during which time she won five gold medals) and three Olympics - 1968, 1972 and 1976 - where she won three silver meals. Her achievements also include 14 individual Australian championships, plus a slew of Australian and Commonwealth records, an ABC Sports Award in 1974, membership of two World record breaking relay teams and induction into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame in 1985. Raelene was also honoured at the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony as one of our truly great female athletes alongside Cathy Freeman, Debbie Flintoff-King, Dawn Fraser, Shane Gould, Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland. Raelene is a Board Member of the Breast Cancer Network Australia and is a patron of both the Sunshine Coast's Cancer Care Centres and the Living Trees Program. Raelene is a founding member of the Sporting Chance Foundation which distributes "Raelene Boyle" research scholarships, she also raises funds on the Sunshine Coast to replace breasts lost to breast cancer. Phil King Bachelor of Education [Physical Education], Graduate Diploma Sport and Exercise Science . Level 3 Track and Field Coach [ATFCA], Level 2 Swim coach [ASCTA]. Phil was a secondary teacher for 7 years, was previously AA Head Coach [1995 -96], and since 1992 has been business owner and Managing Director of Kings Swim Centres Pty Ltd. At the elite level, Phil has coached athletes including Debbie Flintoff-King (1981 to 1990) and Jana Pittman (002 – present), while at the developmental level he coordinated very successful DFK Olympic Gold Medal Camps from 1990 - 1995. Jackie Byrnes OAM Competitive athlete from 1958 to 1968, winning NSW titles in both the 400 & 800, runner up at National level in both these events and achieving World Rankings in the 400m (5th) & 200m (16th) in 1967. Her coaching career spanned 34 years until retirement in 2002, and included coach/manager of numerous Australian teams to international competition including Women's Sprint Coach with the Olympic Team in 2000. NSW Coach of the Year in 1992, and the Australian Coaching Councils Individual Coach of the Year 1997 (Female). Her squads were always made up of a mix of developing juniors, disabled and senior athletes including 3 time Olympian Melinda Gainsford Taylor, Jana Pittman, World Junior competitors Elliott Wood and Annabelle Smith, and Sydney 2000 Paralympics Gold medallist Alison Quinn, and finalist Meaghan Starr. Tudor Bidder Physical education teacher in UK 1981-86; National Director of Coaching (athletics), Sultanate of Oman 1986-90; AIS/WAIS Head Coach 1990-92, WAIS Head Coach 1992-1997; UKA Technical Director 97-2000; UKA Head of Potential 2000-2003. Tudor also held coach educator and junior development positions between 1981 and 1997. In Britain, Tudor has been the personal coach to numerous medal/finalists in international competitions, including Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games consistently since 1987. He held Head Coach/Team manager positions for GB teams between 1998-2003, including four Olympic Games. He was responsible for UKA Facility strategy for athletics in England and Wales,
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and compiled the UKA Lottery Funding programs which contributed to Sydney Olympic Games Athletics Results, and directly to Gold Medals for Johnathan Edwards and Denise Lewis. Simon Hollingsworth Represented Australia in the 400m hurdles at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games, the 1995 World Championships, and the 1990 World Junior Championships (Bronze 4x400m relay). Member of the AA Athletes' Commission, 1992-96 and 2000- present. Chairperson of the Commission since November 2003. Bachelor degrees in Commerce, Law and Politics/Philosophy; Studied at Oxford University 19972000 as a Rhodes scholar. Worked previously as a Solicitor and a Management Consultant. Currently employed as a Senior Policy Adviser with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet in Melbourne. Secretariat provided by Sean Scott (ASC). Governance Working group Stephen Spargo (Chair) Rob McLean Dean and Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management. Previously company director on the boards of CSR Ltd, Pacific Dunlop (now Ansell) and as a private equity investor. Rob retired from McKinsey and Company in 1997 where he had a 25 year career. He has been a director of numerous companies and industry bodies, and has specialised in corporate strategy, finance and organisational performance. Rob has had experience in industry policy development, leading an assessment for the McKinsey Global Institute on Australia’s economic performance, contributing to the Federal Government’s initiatives to accelerate export growth and regional development. He served as a member of the Trade Advisory Council to the Minister for Trade for several years. He has an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and Bachelor of Economic Statistics with First Class Honours from the University of New England in Australia. Rob plays a number of community roles in Australia. He is chairman of Social Ventures Australia, a director of the Centre for Independent Studies, a trustee of the Nature Conservancy (Australia) and a member of the Fulbright Advisory Committee. Wayne Jackson A Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, Wayne was CEO and Commissioner of the AFL from 1995 to 2003. Currently consults to Minter Ellison Lawyers, is a director of Meat and Livestock Australia, and a member of the Economic Development Board of South Australia. Wayne has held senior management positions with leading Australian companies including SA Brewing Co and Hardy Limited. A handy state level tennis player, Wayne also played amateur league and seconds football for West Torrens Football Club in South Australia, where he is a life member. He also served on the Player Retention Committee for the SA National Football League and is a former Commissioner for the SANFL. Phil Borgeaud Phil Borgeaud has extensive experience in Australian Sports system, having been involved as an athlete, coach, administrator and director at local, State and national level over a period of more than 25 years. He has experience in both working to a board of directors and in serving on boards of sports organisations in an honorary capacity. In his current role as Manager of Sport Innovation and Best Practice at the ASC, Phil coordinates programs which aim to develop the capability and capacity of the Australian sports system generally and national sporting organisations specifically in the areas of governance, management, and high performance. Max Binnington Max is a former international athlete, and a current coach and sport administrator. Professionally Max is experienced in senior human resources and consulting roles. His athletics management
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roles include committee work at the Glenhuntly club in Melbourne, including 6 years as President, a board member of Athletics Victoria, the last two as President. He is also on the Victorian Olympic Council as a representative of athletics, and the Program Management Committee for the athletics program at the Victorian Institute of Sport. In his “spare time” he coaches a squad of 20 odd athletes. Secretariat provided by Stephen Fox (ASC).
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Appendix C (1)
C Consultations and submissions
A total of 133 written submissions were received from: AA Athletics Commission (Simon Hollingsworth) Alexander, Ron (WA DSR) Attenborough, Lisa (Athletics SA) Austen, Paul (TIS) Babijczuk, Bohdan Baker, Don (Victorian Little Athletics) Baker, Simon Balderstone Simon Balderstone, Simon Barclay, Lawrie Bennett, Peter Bidder, Tudor Bideau, Nic Binnington, Max Bisetto, Sandro Blyth, Don Boas, John Boegman, Nicole Booth, Anton Bowman, Peter Boyd, Ray & Denise Boyd, Roy Braakhuis Simone Brandis, Reg Brown, Eric Calderbank, Kerry Carlin Paul Carroll, Chris Chapman, Brian Clarke, John Clarke, Tony Clohessy, Pat Coogan, Gerard Cornelius, Ian Crawford, Ron Cremer, Grant Crouch, Graham Culbert, David Culbert, Sam Daly, John Dempsey, Peter
Hunt, Darryl J Hurst, Mike Huxley, Di Jablonski, Gordon (Athletics Tasmania) Jarver, Jess Jenes, Paul Johnson, Len Keely, Diane & Murhphy Joe Kehoe, Peter Kitt, Ivan Launder, Alan & Jennifer Laurendet, Paul Lawler, Peter Lawrence, Steve (WAIS) Lewin, Simon Lim, Teck Lord, Anne (AA Out of Stadium Committee) Loxley, Wayne (Athletica - WA Athletics) Mahony, Margaret McDonald, Peter R McFadden, Derek McKinnon, Geoffrey OAM McNamara, Marjorie (ALA) Medlicott, Robert (NSWIS) Norris, Ken (ACTAS) Norris, Ken (NESC) Nunn, Chris O'Halloran, Terry Olden, Graeme Osborne, Norm Periac, Kathryn Petrovics, Patricia Pitt, Stephen (Athletics Qld) Plant, Maurie Prendergast, Kevin Probst, Jorg Pye, Nick Pym, Andrew Rasic, Sonny Readwin, Tim Rhodes, David
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Appendix C (1) (cont’d)
Consultations and submissions (cont’d)
Dibbs, Ross Doubell, Ralph (Athletics NSW) Rowe, Geoff Doyle, Greg (Athletics NSW) Rutto, Mzee Dunne, W J Scriven, Bruce Edwards, David Sheehan, John Eldridge, Janelle & Moore, Shuravetsky, Efim Betty (Athletics NSW) Foley, Brian (Australian Masters Spence, Peter (VIS) Association) Fortune, Peter Stephens, Barbara Foster, Peter J C Stevic, Matt Gardiner, Cathy Stewart, Mark Green, Daniel Stoward, Graeme Green, Kingsley Suchy, Dan Gulliver, Robert Surjan, Erik Hagicostas, Nick (SASI) Symonds, Ross (Qld Little Athletics) Hamdorf, Dr Phil (SA Office for Telford, Dick Recreation and Sport) Hannan, Sharon & Peter Thompson, Ian Hanrahan, Matthew Thomson, Michael Healey, Peter Turney, Pam Hellwig Jason Wall, John Henness, Owen Wardlaw, Chris Hennessy, Gary Watkins, Gareth (Athletics NSW) Higley, Rob Watson, Lindsay Hilliard, Craig Wheatley, Jennifer Hodges, Sharon (Qld DSR) Williams W McB Hollingsworth, Simon Wilson, Denis Honey, Nick (Athletics Victoria) Horneman, Matthew
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Appendix C (2)
Breakdown of those interviewed by Targeted Individual / Group
The following lists the names of those individuals who were specifically contacted and requested to make a written submission, and were offered the opportunity to make an oral presentation. The list includes: • • • • • • Specific individuals targeted for an interview Directors of SIS/SAS/AIS Heads of State/Territory Departments for Sport Presidents of each AA State Association Presidents of each State Little Athletics Organisation Presidents of each of the members of the Australian Athletic Federation
Breakdown by Individuals
Targeted individuals Lee Troop Steve Moneghetti Terri Cater Andrew Forrest (current Chair AA) Dave Culbert Chris Carroll Matt Stevic Wally Foreman Jason Hellwig Marjorie McNamara ALA Tudor Bidder – AA HPM, Development submission David Culbert - AA Selector Simon Hollingsworth – AA Athletes Commission Keith Connor – National Head Coach Don Talbot – former Swimming National Head Coach Presented Lodged submission
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Appendix C (2) cont’d
Breakdown by Groups
Target group Directors of SIS/SAS/AIS Lodged a submission ACTAS AIS NESC NSWIS NTIS QAS SASI TIS VIS WAIS ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas VIC WA ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas VIC WA Australian Ultra Runners Association Aust Fedn of Race Walking Clubs Athletics Australia Australian Masters Athletics Australian Athletics Confederation School Sport Australia Aust Track & Field Coaches Assn ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas VIC WA NSW 13 NT 0 QLD 8 SA 6 TAS 4 32 11 33 VIC 28 WA 6 Total 76 Interviewed
Heads of State/Territory Departments for Sport
Presidents of each AA State Association
Presidents of each of the members of the Australian Athletic Federation
Presidents of each State Little Athletics Assn
Summary of interviews:
by State: by category: ACT 11
Targeted Groups Targeted Individuals Others
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D Current membership and voting structure of AA
MEMBERSHIP & VOTING
7 Directors (6 elected, 1 ex-officio)
ACT 1 vote
NSW 1 vote
QLD 1 vote
VIC 1 vote
SA 1 vote
WA 1 vote
TAS 1 vote
NT 1 vote
Athletics New South Wales
Athletics South Australia
AthleticA (Western Australia)
Northern Territory Athletics
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E Current structure of athletics as a sport in Australia
Existing Federated M odel
Australian Little Athletics Association
Australian Athletics Federation Others (w alks, fun runners, etc)
Business board: Directors elected from D irectors’ nom inees
AT &FC A (Coaches)
AAC i.e. Professionals
Aust Masters Athletics
M em bers = State and Territory Affiliates
Q ueensland Athletics Association
Athletics NSW Lim ited
Athletics Victoria Incorporated
C lubs and Participants
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F Financial Management Review Athletics Australia June 2004
Summary of Findings and Recommendations – PKF chartered accountants, June 2004
Based on their review, PKF found the following: • • • • • • • • • An inadequate level of reserves to support the annual income which may be at risk; A Financial Management Structure that is sufficient to support the size and nature of the organisation; The Draft Business Plan for the 2001 - 2006 period requires an improvement in the level of financial information and strategy in order to reflect better practice; Varying under and overstatements within the cash flow projections for the period July 2004 to January 2006. The proposed timing of income and expenditure exceeds the overdraft facility on a number of occasions; At the time of the review, the initial budget and forecast process for the 2004/2005 financial year had just been completed. Better practice suggests earlier attention to this process; The initial budget and forecast process for the 2004/2005 financial year was a high level approach with minimal upfront involvement of Divisional Heads and other responsible staff; Fluctuating financial solvency indicators, requiring urgent and significant increased management; and A requirement to provide a greater level of clarity and education to the Directors through improved management report narrative and explanation.
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The following recommendations and suggestions for improvement based on the work performed, incorporating best practice financial management principles as they apply to AA are made: Finding
1 The Draft Business Plan for the 2001 - 2006 period requires an improvement in the level of financial information and strategy in order to reflect better practice
In order to achieve and support AA’s objectives and to reflect the principles of better practice, adoption or update of the following should be considered: • Corporate Plan • Business Plan and Forecasts • Annual Business Plan and Forecasts • Divisional Area Annual Business Plans and Budget • Individual Performance Agreements We recommend AA consider the likely effect of the various under and overstatements found in the Cashflow projections for the period July 2004 to January 2006 and make any appropriate adjustments as necessary in line with the risk profiles outlined We recommend AA have as a high priority, the further review and discussion of the timing of variable revenue streams with sponsors and donors to ensure that the overdraft facility is not breached We recommend AA adopt a more consultative and timely strategic budget and forecast process, to enhance ownership of this process
Under and Overstatements within the Cashflow Projections for the period July 2004 to January 2006
Discrepancies within the Cashflow projections for the period July 2004 to January 2006 surrounding the timing of income received and expenditure paid resulting in the organisation’s overdraft facility being breached four times At the time of the review (May 2004), the initial budget and forecast process for the 2004/2005 year had just been completed. Better practice suggests earlier attention to this process Furthermore, the initial process was a high level approach, with minimal upfront involvement of Divisional Heads and other responsible staff
The need for a greater level of clarity and education to the Directors through improved management report narrative and explanation
An educative process is undertaken to provide the Directors with an increased awareness as to the interpretation of financial information. Prospective new Board members are presented with a detailed ‘information pack’ prior to acceptance of appointment, incorporating the current information provided (recent Board Papers, the Constitution, prior Annual Reports, an overview of the organisation and its structure) with additional information such as strategic business plans, budgets and forecasts. This will allow prospective directors to make an informed decision regarding acceptance of an appointment Expansion of current financial management information to include:
Business and Corporate Plan progress against objectives Increased narrative on the Balance Sheet information and detailed analysis on significant balance sheet movements Increased divisional analysis (including cause and effect narrative and demonstration of links to forecast) Detailed explanation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and discussion as to the meaning of apparent or identified trends
Presentation of Accrual Budgets and Cash Projections with an appropriate reconciliation between the two positions to allow for greater understanding by management Continued monitoring of the cash position of the organisation
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G Documents tabled for the review
Governance 1. AA Constitution #12 Feb 2003.pdf 2. AAF Constitution Dec 2001.pdf 3. AAF Agreement.pdf 4. ALA Constitution appendix A.pdf 5. ALA Constitution appendix B.pdf 6. ALA Constitution appendix C.pdf 7. ALA Constitution appendix D.pdf 8. ALA Constitution appendix E.pdf 9. ALA Constitution.pdf 10. AA Governance Case study summary Nov 2002.pdf 11. AA Governance Case Study Sep 2002.doc 12. Review of Structure and Governance of Athletics in Australia - Confidential report to the Board of Athletics Australia , PricewaterhouseCoopers, July 1998 13. Athletics SA Governance Review – Tender document from SA Office for Recreation and Sport 2003.pdf 14. Structural Analysis of AA – Tender document from Coopers and Lybrand – 1998.pdf 15. AA Strategic Plan update- letter from Jason Hellwig.doc 16. AA Overview of governance changes in Athletics Australia Apr 2004.doc 17. AA ASC Overview of athletics since 2000.doc High Performance 18. AA High Performance Plan 2005-9.doc 19. AA High Performance Plan Appendices.doc Development 20. Australian Track and Field Coaches Assn Strategic Plan Workshop 97.pdf 21. AA Team Athletics Business Plan for ASC.doc 22. AA Roe Report – The State of Domestic Athletics Competition in Australia 2002.pdf 23. AA Roe Report – Methods to Increase Participation Levels in Domestic Athletics 2003.pdf General 24. AA Annual Report 2000-2001.pdf 25. AA Annual report 2001-02.pdf 26. AA Annual report 2002-03.pdf 27. AA Business Plan 2001-2006 .doc 28. PKF Financial Management Review Athletics Australia June 2004
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