The release of Sports Tally 2014 by the Australian Sports Commission on Thursday shows that the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) is well positioned to meet the targets set by Australia’s Winning Edge.
But the 44-page report has also re-emphasised where the APC must continue to improve and drive Paralympic sport forward according to APC Chief Executive Jason Hellwig.
Hellwig was encouraged by the ASC’s evaluation of the APC across the key areas of high performance, participation and governance, but conceded there was still more to be done.
“The release of this report from the ASC rightfully acknowledges the improvements the APC is currently making to its Board Governance, and highlights that the Paralympic sports programs which we directly manage and those that are managed by our National Federation partners are making significant progress,” Hellwig said.
“We are positive about the road ahead with Rio now just over two years away and we are confident the ASC’s approach to transparency and accountability through Winning Edge will improve Australian sport.
“But our work goes beyond directly reporting to and satisfying our Winning Edge high performance requirements. It extends to the value-adding we do every day to improve the Paralympic programs across all our sports.
“In addition to the $8.89 million in ASC funding provided to Para-sport programs during the period covered by this report, the APC injects further investment and expertise to build sustainable Para-sport programs for the future.
“We have redeveloped the way in which we approach the sporting pathway and are investing in targeted talent identification for future Games, structured development pathways from grassroots to elite for athletes with a disability and a focus on bringing together all the stakeholders needed for Australia to maintain and improve its success in international Paralympic sport.
“Our research into policy effectiveness in disability sport and our subsequent stakeholder engagement framework has the ability to improve the way sports work, not just with their Para-sports programs, but across the board.
Hellwig said the APC’s provision of this investment and expertise at an operational level will continue to gain momentum this year, as the organisation finalises its comprehensive Governance review.
Having adopted the ASC’s mandatory governance principles, the APC has recently commenced the process of reforming its Board Governance, specifically the introduction of newly implemented performance evaluations, an improved gender balance, a staggered rotation and the establishment of a Board nominations committee.
“This is a very important and exciting time for our organisation. Elevating our Governance landscape provides the necessary backdrop against which we can increase our operational capacity and can meet the challenges that lie ahead,” Hellwig said.
“Under Winning Edge, our aim is a top five finish at the Rio Games in 2016 and every member of our organisation, from our Chairman and Board to junior staff, will leave no stone unturned to help achieve that aim.”
AIS Director Matt Favier has acknowledged that the complexity and breadth of the APC’s role is unique in Australian sport, and central to the ongoing success of the Australian Paralympic movement and Australia’s Paralympic Teams.
“The APC’s willingness to partner with the ASC and AIS on achieving our Winning Edge targets has been fantastic and is illustrated in the progress that has been made so far,” Favier said.
“The broad scope of the APC’s work in Australian sport continues to be highly valued and we’re looking forward to our partnership growing further in the lead-up to Rio.”
The APC Board of Directors is scheduled to meet this weekend to discuss the report and the progress of the ongoing changes to the organisation.
By APC Media