Spread the love

Paralympics Australia is proud to embrace the nation’s first truly united high performance plan and play a leading role in building a sporting system that is inclusive, sustainable and collaborative.

The landmark national framework, titled ‘Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy’, was launched by Australian Sports Commission Chief Executive Kieren Perkins in Sydney on Thursday at a gathering of Australia’s Paralympic, Olympic and Commonwealth Games peak sporting organisations.

Central to the system is the ‘Win Well’ initiative, under which sporting leaders have pledged to accelerate their commitment to balancing success and wellbeing in high performance sport.

Paralympics Australia was keenly represented at the launch by President Jock O’Callaghan, Chief Executive Catherine Clark, Head of Performance Elise Rechichi and Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin.

Clark, part of the 2032+ Sport Strategy Leadership Group, was heavily involved in the design and will also sit on the group overseeing the implementation of the strategy. Paralympic track star Chad Perris is also part of the group.

“This has been months in the making,” Clark said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of listening and a lot of learning and, most importantly, having our athletes at the heart of it and listening to their voice.

“We’re here announcing our new vision, which is ‘We win well to inspire Australians’ and I love the fact that winning well is at the heart of this strategy because it is about long-term sustainable success. It is about the whole person, the athlete and life beyond sport.”

Australian Sports Commission Board member and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley also attended the launch while other prominent members of the Paralympic movement – Para-athletics coach Louise Sauvage and Winter Paralympian Mitch Gourley – took part in a panel discussion. 

“I think this is a wonderful moment and I’m really looking forward to committing Paralympics Australia and also myself to the Win Well pledge,” Clark said.

“This sits really comfortably with Paralympics Australia and the Paralympic movement. Looking after the whole person in sport and in life is what it means to be part of our movement.”

The pledge states, in part: “Success in Australian sport will be to Win Well. This is a balanced, holistic approach, supporting our athletes and people to win in all areas of life. It is about celebrating the humanity of Australian sport, valuing physical, mental, emotional and cultural wellbeing. It is maintaining the ambition for success, but always marked with humility, integrity, fair play and Aussie grit.  

“To Win Well will be a key to sustainable success, unlocking the full potential in our people and our sporting system.” 

Rechichi said it was exciting to start a whole-of-system strategy that broadened the definition of success. 

“I think what’s been really significant through this process is how well Paralympic sport is integrated within the strategy and that there’s an overwhelming focus on not only winning, but winning well and winning in a way that inspires Australians.”

Perkins said all stakeholders had a unique role to play, “but we will all benefit by harnessing our collective strengths, talent and resources so we can deliver the best outcomes for our athletes, sports and for all of Australia.  

“This strategy is the collective roadmap to guide our success. It prioritises how we will tackle areas including world-leading coaching and practices, athlete development pathways, performance environments, an outstanding workforce driven by clear values and cultures. 

“Our time starts now to build an inclusive and sustainable sporting system that is performance-driven, athlete-focused, exceptionally led and purposefully collaborative.” 

What our people are saying:

President Jock O’Callaghan: “At Paralympics Australia we are really excited by the notion of sports coming together and being united. As the peak body representing 23 member sports, that’s a powerful message and one we want to help deliver.”

Chad Perris: “I’m really excited today to be named on the 2032 Sport Strategy Leadership Group. It’s a really great chance to provide insight from athletes, both present and in the future, going forward to 2032 and beyond.”

Kurt Fearnley: “More important than winning is winning well. Because that’s about the morality, the ideology and about the real legacy of sport.”

Ellie Cole: “Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy has been created with an incredible depth of experience across the sport sector and will create a blueprint to deliver the best outcomes for sports in Australia.”

Mitch Gourley: “This genuine change ensures our whole sporting system collaborates to create fair, supportive and safe environments with a place for everyone and where everyone can be their best.”

Emily Petricola: “The team behind the athlete is what ultimately determines performance. If you have confidence that those guiding your journey are all aligned and on the same page as to where you are at and where you are going, you are far more likely to get there!”

Angie Ballard: “We’ve really worked on the framework that creates great athletes, great coaches, great performance staff, and how we can retain them. If we design an excellent system that can go on, then we will keep on getting athletes that know how to train and know how to excel.”

By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 15 December 2022