Shooting Australia - CEO Update

Articles | Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Dear Member Body Directors and Executive Members,
I want to start this month’s CEO Update by addressing two key areas which need some clarity and further explanation – Participation and our sports declining performance trend.

Participation – Whose responsibility is it?
There is currently confusion that exists around the history of whose role it is to look after participation in our sport and the role of recruiting, retaining, developing and growing members, clubs and events. This is not the role of Shooting Australia, it is the responsibility of the five Member Organisations that affiliate to Shooting Australia.

Here is the extract from my last CEO Report where I explained this “Shooting Australia has in the past not played an active role in the participation space of our sport, because it was generally agreed that this was the domain of the Member Organisations. Whilst this is still the domain of our Member Organisations, it is accepted that not having a healthy and growing base is a risk to the sustainability of our sport and to achieving our high performance outcomes. Therefore, this is a space where Shooting Australia will be leading and assisting Member Organisations to ensure this is an area that is not ignored.”

As you can read from this, whilst this has been and still is the responsibility of Member Organisations, Shooting Australia will no longer be passively sitting in the background on this, our sport needs to invest time, energy and resources to growing our sport and our membership and we will now be an active participant in this space.

I want to mention just some of the actions that Shooting Australia have instigated or will be instigating to show we are serious about now stepping into this space and ensuring our sport pays more attention to the development and growth of the grass roots sport (increased participation);

-    The introduction of the Aiming4Gold Funding Initiative to support Member Organisations with activities aimed at developing and nurturing talented athletes (Brand new initiative)
-    The delivery of a whole of sport Athlete Pathways Conference including representatives from Member Organisations (a first for our sport)
-    The design and production of a whole of sport Athlete Pathways Framework (a first for our sport)
-    The establishment of an Athlete Pathways Working Group including Member Organisation representatives to focus on key deliverables at different levels of the pathway ( a first for our sport)
-    The design and delivery of a broad based participation survey to identify the actual barriers that stop people participating or participating more often in our sport (Brand new initiative)
Benchmark Performance
The performance trend of our sport at the highest level has been in decline for more than a decade.
Our sport until recent times has done little to create a sustainable and planned approach to continuous success at the highest levels.

Although the above is confronting, it is the truth and we shouldn’t hide from it, blame others for it or pretend it isn’t a problem. Everything the current Board and staff group is doing is focussed on ensuring that we don’t continue to perpetuate the above issues that were not addressed appropriately when they should have been.

I can provide no better proof of our new approach than to highlight the ISSF Junior Cup in Suhl this year where we sent 18 Junior Athletes covering all of our disciplines and their performances were tremendous.

We will continue to work hard to address the above facts and we are resolute in ensuring that we do lift the performance trend of our sport and that we do create a sustainable and planned approach, rather than relying on the performances of a few champions as we have in the past.
Strategic Plan
The Board of Shooting Australia will be presenting to Member Organisations in November an updated Strategic Plan that sets out an improved direction for Shooting Australia 2016-2020. This document lays a clear mandate to address the above participation issue facing our sport, but also sets the framework for the sport to be more focussed in aligning with Member Organisations to create better governance and to open up further commercial and positioning opportunities for us. This Strategic Plan is purely the high level strategy, the detail, business planning, action plans and success measures sit beneath this and will be driven by the Board to ensure their strategic vision is achieved.
Olympic Qualification
I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our athletes the best as we reach a critical period for both individual athletes, but also for us as a country as we head towards the Oceania Continental Championships and Rio ‘selection events’. I encourage all athletes and coaches to ensure they have read the selection and nomination policies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games that are available on our website.

It is really important that athletes understand the “first past the post” criteria that exists within the policy, so that athletes are well prepared for the two events where this opportunity exists. During October we have had some wonderful performances on home soil, which shows that athletes are capable of selecting themselves for Rio. In particular the performances of Dane Sampson (Rifle), Lalita Yauhleuskaya (Pistol), Penny Smith (Shotgun) and Adam Vella (Shotgun) are four recent examples of the level of performance that is required, but is achievable.

If you are an aspiring Rio athlete, please read the selection and nomination policies:

On the Horizon
- Good luck to our para-shooters who are now at their last World Cup of the Year in Fort Benning, USA, 1-8th November
- The Oceania Continental Championships runs from 26th November to 4th December. Best of luck to all of our athletes, especially those fighting for quota places.
- The Shooting Australia AGM and Member’s Forum is on Saturday 14th November
I hope you enjoy this edition, I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome any feedback.

- Damien Marangon, Shooting Australia CEO.

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