Australia’s winning edge

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Basketball Australia welcomes the announcement today by the Australian Sports Commission to support the continuation of Australia’s Winning Edge strategy.

The ASC’s Australia’s Winning Edge strategy provides a great sense of purpose and clarity for Basketball Australia and our national teams.

The leadership of the Australian Institute of Sport in our planning and delivery has been fundamental in reshaping the national agenda for high performance in basketball.

With the support of our State Associations, we have made significant strides over the last two years as a sport to better align our athlete pathway as required by Australia’s Winning Edge (AWE).

While it was very disappointing that our Jayco Opals failed to advance beyond the quarter final stage for the first time in five Olympic campaigns in Rio, it is important to record that the AWE strategies we adopted directly contributed to our Australian Sapphires winning the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in Spain in July this year after beating the USA in the semi-final.

Let’s not forget that our Australian Gems also won a bronze medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships for Women in 2016.

Thus in our view the pathway alignment objectives of AWE have started to pay dividends for the next generation of future Opals.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio have written another page in the history of our Helloworld Australian Boomers.

The genesis of bringing together arguably the strongest line up of Australian talent to our men’s national team in recent history was borne from AWE.  The decision to appoint full time national program coaches encouraged Andrej Lemanis to focus his efforts as national men’s coach on delivering a program that harnessed our very best talent in pursuit of that elusive Olympic medal.

We were excited to see our nation get behind the Helloworld Boomers as we progressed through the tournament in Rio and are confident that their efforts have inspired the next generation of Australian basketballers.

It is disappointing that sections of the Australian media have called the strategy into question after just one Olympic campaign.  These ill informed views demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding about the size of the challenge to change a sporting system that has been entrenched for many decades.

My view as Chief Executive is that the debate should be focussed on the size of the funding pool.  It is very difficult to compete on the global medal table when as a nation we are being out spent at a considerable rate by the powerhouses of USA, Great Britain and China.

Our nations expectations of our Olympic athletes and national teams increase every four years while in real terms the financial investment into elite high performance sport has decreased.

The Australia’s Winning Strategy provides an outstanding framework and methodology to manage investment outcomes for elite sport.

It is time, in my view, that we start a sensible and considered conversation about our funding strategy.

Anthony Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Basketball Australia.