The NSW swimming community has come together to collaboratively analyse the future of high performance swimming in NSW for 2017 and beyond, establishing six priorities in the process.
The move to reassess the future has come about following a tough period for the sport in NSW, with the state organisation now hoping to regain their position as one of the premier swimming states in Australia.
Why has this realignment of high performance swimming in NSW come about?
Here’s an overview:
Over the last 100 years NSW swimmers have a proud tradition of success, producing podium and world record-breaking performances at Olympic, Paralympic and world championship competition. NSW is one of the most successful states when it comes to contributing to Australia’s success in the pool with the 2000 and 2004 Games a particular highlight for NSW based swimmers.
Throughout this time the High Performance Swimming Program in NSW was decentralised, with support delivered via individual clubs and centre programs. Four locations across NSW (Sutherland, Banora Point – Kingscliff, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) and Sydney University) were supported as NSWIS High Performance Training Centres.
Swimming in NSW was influential with a good reputation.
However, the nature of high performance swimming changed over the last 15 years and NSW lost many experienced coaches to other states and many of our best athletes followed. Our performances declined along with athlete and coach representation on Australian national teams.
During the last four years Swimming Australia and Swimming NSW moved to Podium Performance Centres which aimed to “focus investment and resources in high performing environments with a proven track record, and the capacity to achieve podium performances in the future.” Unfortunately, this shift in strategy did not address or improve NSW performances.
This led to the engagement of the NSW swimming community to collaborate and discuss concerns and ideas for the future of high performance swimming in NSW for the foreseeable future, establishing the following six priorities in the process:
- Agree and commit to a path for future success
- Clarify roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of all key stakeholders
- Recruit a leader
- Build trust, transparency and engagement across the system
- Develop a transparent coach and athlete development pathway
- Improve our facilities
Swimming in NSW – Where to Next?
We have worked hard in the meantime (SAL, SNSW and NSWIS) to collaboratively restructure the high performance approach in NSW based on the six priorities identified by the NSW swimming community. Following 18 months of stakeholder engagement, the development of the SAL High Performance Strategic Plan and the SAL Podium Centre Evaluation Process, the below was established.
To support Australian swimming athletes and coaches to achieve career best performances in benchmark event finals
NSW is a FIRST choice daily performance environment for talented swimming athletes and coaches
This has led to a revised Leadership and Coaching Model (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) to support athletes and coaches centrally and locally and Performance Centre Model (CLICK HERE TO VIEW). The key feature of the revised model will be “mobility and flexibility” between the NSW Technical Hub and Daily Performance Environments (Clubs).
Key changes under the revised model include:
- The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre becomes the NSW Technical Hub (a leading technology, coaching, leadership and servicing hub)
- Swimming Australia (SAL) will employ the NSW Head Coach (advertisement to commence on 26thSeptember 2016)
- Swimming Australia (SAL) will look to employ the NSW Technical Hub High Performance Coach (advertisement to commence in October 2016)
- Swimming NSW (SNSW) has employed Jon Shaw as the NSW Coaching Director
- SAL, SNSW and NSWIS will collaboratively provide performance support to the NSW Technical Hub and Clubs