CEO Update - May 2016

Articles | Monday, Jun 6, 2016

It would be fair to say that there is a lot going on at the moment and that this was expected as we enter the final few months before the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I want to start this month’s update by talking to the major items that are currently playing out in the media and to be upfront and honest with you.

As you would be aware we currently have a high profile athlete who is going through an extremely difficult time and it is being played out very publicly. The position of Shooting Australia is at this stage a simple one and has two major facets to it. Firstly, there is the alleged indiscretions and charges and these are being methodically worked through by the athlete and his legal team as well as Shooting Australian and the Australian Olympic Committee. We will continue to work through this methodically and responsibly and, at the right time, with all of the correct information, we will reach the right outcome for our sport and for all involved. The second area to this, and disappointingly the one too often forgotten, is the human element. We have an individual who is going through a tough time and we are embracing him with all of the help and support he needs. The only people who should know that level of support and ongoing assistance is the athlete, those close to him, Shooting Australia and the experts and individuals we have engaged. We will continue to work hard on both of these elements equally as we believe it is the right thing to do.

Unfortunately at the moment and partly related to the above there are a few individuals who selfishly continue to go to the media to spread mistruths and lies, motivated by self-promotion and with the aim to tarnish the sport of Shooting. It is ironic and obvious to all that you cannot pretend you are helping a sport when all you do is try to promulgate issues that are intended to make the sport, and the people within it look bad. I have said this previously and I will say it again, this is the time for our sport and our community to celebrate the 24 athletes who will be representing Australia at the Olympics and Paralympics and to let them shine. It is their time. We are doing everything we can to promote our great sport and the wonderful achievements that are occurring as Rio fast approaches. We are on track to deliver performances that we haven’t seen for over a decade. We wont let a few individuals impact these performances and destroy the preparation of our athletes. We will continue to do all we can for our sport and the athletes and we will continue to ignore the mistruths and lies being spread to the media or on Facebook posts and we invite you to do the same. We believe our energy is better spent on those things that really matter.

Paralympic Team Announcement

On the 17th of May the Australian Paralympic Committee formally announced the six shooting Athletes that would be representing Australia in Rio. This was an brillent time for these six athletes and a wonderful acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication. We are excited about this team and their potential, based on the recent performances that they have been displaying. If you want to know more about this team and the announcement please click here to read more. 

Whole of Sport Governance Review

On the 10th of May we wrote to our Member Body Key Contacts notifying them of the update on the Whole of Sport Governance Review that is being undertaken. The key part of this Memo read ... 

... the Board made the decision to defer releasing the report for a number of reasons which include: 

  1. The Board are seeking further clarification from Suiko Consultancy on a number of items contained within the report; 
  2. The Board are going to be seeking further data and information on two key areas in order to better inform the recommendations and required strategies that will come from this report; 
  3. The Board felt strongly that releasing a report of this scope and magnitude three months out from an Olympic/Paralympic Games was not a prudent strategy and has the potential to distract effort, thought and resources at a time when we are fully committed to supporting our athletes and focused on providing our athletes with a distraction free preparation. This position is supported by the Australian Sports Commission. 

The Board is committed to this review and the outcomes that will come from it and so the above is a considered plan that this report is delivered at the right time, with the right information and support that is required. Simply sending out a report of this importance without this level of consideration and planning would be irresponsible and the Board will not do this.

For more information on this or to read the full statement please go to the Shooting Australia Website or click here.

High Performance Policy Review

I would like to remind everyone that we have published information in relation to the planned review of our high performance selection policies for 2017 - 2020. We have been discussing with Member Bodies for more than a year the need for us to do a full review of all of our Selection Policies at least every quadrennial. An important element of this review is that we are looking to introduce a longer term quadrennial view for our sport. It is also important to note that this review is deliberately open to individuals and not just one consolidated view from a Member Body or State Association. It is important if we are to critically and holistically conduct this review, that we have as many versions and ideas as possible. For more information on this, click here

World Number 1’s

I would like to end this month positively as I always do and this month there is a wonderful achievement worth celebrating. Based on his first World Cup Gold Medal at the Rio Test Event young Double Trap Shooter James Willett has now ascended to be ranked number one in the world, a terrific achievement from a 20 year old. Warren Potent, one of the superstars of our sport also medalled at the Rio test event and although, as of the 1st of June,  he has slipped to number two in the World, he has been holding the number one ranked position for the last few months. We also have the extraordinary Natalie Smith who has ranked number two in the world in not one but two events which is an amazing effort for an athlete. These rankings are a wonderful indication of how strongly our athletes and our programs are currently performing.

Bring on Rio!

Damien


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