23 February 2011

AOC medal prediction in London Olympics

Australia can rebound from medal slip: Coates@AOC

Australia is still aiming for a top five finish on the overall medal tally at next year’s London Olympics despite slipping to eighth position on the latest Benchmark analysis of Olympic sports.

“A top five position is still very achievable,” said AOC President John Coates. “There are five countries jostling for fourth and fifth spots who are all very close together.”

The top three nations on the overall medal tally are streets ahead of the rest with Russia 97 medals, USA 94 and China 93.

Great Britain is fourth with 48 medals followed by Germany 47, France 45 and Japan 43. Australia is eighth on 42 medals.

The study is based on results from World Championships, World Cups and other major international events held in 2010.

In the case of swimming and athletics which did not have world championships in 2010 it is based on performances achieved internationally over the year.

Coates remains supremely confident that Australia’s athletes will improve dramatically between now and the start of the London Games in July 2012.

He believes the Federal Government funding provided late last year will lift performances and Australia is seeing a resurgence in some sports particularly cycling and track and field.

“The different sports are deriving enormous benefit from the Federal Government’s injection of $23m to high performance sport last year. It took a while coming but it is kicking in now,” Coates said.

The Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Mark Arbib, recently provided more Federal Government backing to ten targeted Olympic sports allocating another $2.5m through the Green and Gold Program.

Out of the 42 medals won or credited in 2010, cycling won six, track and field four, sailing four, rowing four and diving three.

Swimming which traditionally wins the bulk of Australia’s medals finished with 14. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics our swimmers won 20 medals out of a total of 46.

“Our male swimming ranks have been boosted by the return of Geoff Huegill, Ian Thorpe and Michael Klim,” Coates said.

“They will have a positive impact on the London Team.”

Australia finished fourth on the overall medal tally at the Sydney 2000 Games with 58 medals. We were fourth again in Athens in 2004 with 49 medals.

“The mid to high 40’s should be enough to get us into the top five again in London. That is our aim,” Coates said.

“The spread of medals is now greater and the teams from western Europe will be a greater challenge in London. One thing is certain, if we finish ahead of Great Britain we will finish in the top five.”

“We won one medal in cycling in Beijing compared to 10 in Athens four years earlier. The young riders like Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge have now stepped up and this is where we can really hurt Great Britain who dominated cycling in 2008.”

Singapore to invest in youth development


Sports champions are not born. Their success results from many years of hard work and well-planned training. With this in mind, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has urged the National Sports Associations (NSAs) to put in place strong and structured youth development programmes to groom our young athletes into the champions of tomorrow.

2 The Annual National Sports Association Grant Exercise (ANGE) for Financial Year (FY) 2011 (1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012) reflects this reality through a significant increase in funding for NSA development programmes. For FY 2011, a total of S$33.14 million in direct funding has been approved for 49 NSAs under ANGE FY2011 (ANGE FY2011), of which S$18.18 million (54.9% of the total amount) will be channelled towards developing a holistic athlete development structure and programming. This is an absolute year-on-year increase of 29.4% from the S$14.05 million of the total direct funding amount of S$32.3 million approved in FY 2010. As a percentage of the total direct allocation, development spending rose to 54.9% from only 43.9% the year before.

3 "Singapore needs holistic youth development programmes to identify and groom our young sporting talent into the world champions of tomorrow. For Singapore to be a regular feature on the podium at the major Games like the Olympics, it will not be enough to concentre our efforts solely on the existing pool of elite athletes. It is thus crucial to ensure that Singapore has a pipeline of athletes ready to peak in 2012 and 2016, and beyond," said Mr Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

4 "I am certain that with a structured, aggressive and holistic youth development system in place, we will continue to be represented on the podium at all of the major games in which our athletes participate," added SPS Teo.

5 For ANGE FY 2011, the SSC will be channelling a total of S$67.24 million to the NSAs and other sports partners. The amount includes direct grants of S$33.14 million and indirect grants of S$33.1 million. This is up from FY 2010's funding of S$54.17 million (Direct grant: $32.3 million; indirect grant: S$21.87 million).

6 Indirect grants to NSAs include the Olympic Pathway Programme and Singapore Youth Sports Development funding, Sports Medicine and Sports Science support and subsidies for sports facilities, among others.

Continued Investment in Team Sports

7 The ANGE FY 2011 allocation also saw the SSC continue their investment in Team Sports. About $8.32 million, up from $8.11 million in FY 2010, will be allocated towards Team Sports.

8 The importance of Team Sports was explained by Mr Richard Seow, Chairman, SSC, who noted, "If we want to be masters of our sporting destiny, we need to get more of our youth into sports at an earlier age. Not only do team sports produce champions, they are a great way to build the social skills we need in life. These young athletes have the potential to become our leaders of tomorrow. Team sports teach youth about sharing responsibility in both victory and defeat, pursuing a group strategy and team problem-solving in real time."

9 Football and Water Polo will see an increase in funding this year. The funding to the Football Association of Singapore is for development programmes for the men's under-16, 17 and 18 teams to help them prepare for the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games. The boost in funding for Water Polo is to assist the men's and women's teams' preparations for the 26th SEA Games 2011. This will be the first time that Singapore is expected to send a women's team to participate in Water Polo to the SEA Games, which will be held in Jakarta and Palembang from 11 to 25 November this year.

Improved Multi-Year Sports Plans

10 NSAs are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of setting long-term goals to achieve continued success at the podium. The SSC has seen an improvement in the quality of the Multi-Year Sports Plans (MYSPs) submitted by the NSAs. As a result of this, 21 NSAs are being given in-principle three-year funding approval. This is a significant increase from the nine NSAs last year.

11 The in-principle approval for the extended funding cycle is based on the NSAs' MYSPs. Additionally, the NSAs must have demonstrated that they have the corresponding support structures in place to ensure delivery of these multi-year plans. NSAs will need to meet basic criteria such as corporate governance and fulfillment of pre-agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), before the funds can be disbursed on a quarterly basis.

12 In 2009, the SSC made a call to the NSAs to develop MYSPs spanning two to three years to map out strategies in every area of developing their respective sports. The MYSP incorporates programmes from mass participation to talent identification to high performance, eventually developing an integrated framework to provide athletes with what they need to be podium ready.

13 "The global sports arena is becoming increasingly competitive as more countries are using sports to help their people live better lives. Our NSAs must have a long-term vision for their sports. If we want Singapore to remain competitive at the international stage, we must have robust systems in place to keep developing new generations of athletes," said Mr Seow.

New Shared Services for NSAs

14 The SSC will be introducing two new shared services - Travel Management and Public Relations and Media Relations - to further raise the professionalism of the NSAs. Moreover, by relieving the NSAs of generic administrative functions, they can focus more on sports development. The Travel Management shared service will be made available to interested NSAs with charity status, by the second half of FY 2011. NSAs will also be able to tap on shared services for Public and Media Relations, a service which many NSAs have requested for over the last two financial years.

15 The above shared services complement the two other shared services - Audit and Finance & Accounting, which were introduced in FY 2010. To date, the Audit shared service has been used by 26 NSAs while Finance & Accounting has been used by eight NSAs.

More than $1.5 million
Badminton, Bowling, Football, Netball, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis

$500,000 to $1.5 million
Athletics, Basketball, Cuesports, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Rugby, SDSC, Silat

$200,000 to $500,000
Canoe, Cricket, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Motorsports, Softball/Baseball, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Wushu

$100,000 to $200,000
Archery, Bodybuilding, Dragonboat, Judo, Karate, Modern Pentathlon, Rowing, Squash, Wrestling

Less than $100,000
Boxing, Dancesports, Floorball, Handball, Ice Skating, Lawn Bowls, Mountaineering, Petanque, Rollersports, Sepak Takraw, Weightlifting

22 February 2011

AIS as an Olympic training centre

Australian Institute of Sport granted Olympic Training Centre Status@ASC

The Australian Institute of Sport’s status as an Olympic Training Centre was renewed today with the Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Sports Commission signing an important agreement.

Minister for Sport Mark Arbib and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates today unveiled a new set of Olympic rings at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

Senator Arbib said the agreement demonstrated that the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and AOC shared a common goal in supporting Australia’s Olympic athletes.

“This agreement recognises the pivotal role the AIS plays, along with our state and territory institutes and academies, in providing our elite athletes with the best possible training and preparation for the Olympic stage,” Senator Arbib said.

“By working together across elite sport we will increase our chances of success at the 2012 London Olympics.

“That’s why the Gillard Government recently announced that 10 Olympic sports would share in $2.5 million in targeted funding under the Green and Gold Project.

“The Green and Gold Project is designed to give our athletes the best possible training and preparation – the best coaching, sport science and resources and facilities.

“And by putting more of our athletes on the podium we will inspire young people to participate in sport, which will not only help us find our next Olympic champions but will also have great health benefits, getting the kids away from the TV and on to the sports field.”

Mr Coates praised the spirit of cooperation that underpins the new agreement.

“With a renewed focus on high performance sport and a renewed cooperation between the AIS, ASC and AOC, we can now concentrate on turning our national sporting partnership in to medals,” Mr Coates said.

“The Green and Gold project will provide Australian sport with a targeted and timely investment into the Olympic program – embracing the challenge of achieving a top five result in London.

“The AIS has a global reputation for producing elite athletes. Its track record over 30 years speaks for itself.

“Athletes such as kayakers Clint Robinson and Ken Wallace, archer Simon Fairweather, cyclists Ryan Bailey and Anna Meares, and swimmer Petria Thomas to name a few – all AIS athletes, all Olympic Gold medallists.

“By conferring Olympic Training Centre Status on the AIS, the AOC is acknowledging the critical role it plays in producing champions.”

Senator Arbib said the Olympic Training Centre Status was recognition of the AIS as one of the world’s leading sports training institutes.

“The little things can often make a big difference for athletes, and this agreement will help to give our athletes the edge when chasing Olympic glory,” Senator Arbib said.

“In the face of fierce international pressure the Government remains committed to elite sport and will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Olympic Committee, the Australian Sports Commission, the AIS and our state and territory institutes and academies to back our national sporting bodies.

“This commitment underpins the new National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement to guide high performance sport.

“This means the Commonwealth, state and territory governments have agreed to work hand in hand to improve the Australian high performance system and increase our international success.

“We need all players in the elite Australian sport community to pull together ahead of the London Olympics, to ensure we get behind our top athletes and make the best use of the record new Government funding which is flowing into sport.”

21 February 2011

Malaysian to invest in sports science for London Olympics

Malaysia turn to science for golden breakthtough@Strait Times

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA'S sports officials have opted for the appliance of science in their quest to achieve the country's first Olympic gold medal in London next year.

The National Sports Institute (NSI) has brought in 46 sports science specialists under their 'Road to London 2012' programme, Malaysian media reported.

The seven sports to receive the high-tech support are badminton, soccer, cycling, archery, diving, shooting and hockey.

NSI director-general Ramlan Aziz said that the scientists would be responsible for tailoring their expertise for the individual needs of Malaysia's elite athletes.

Malaysian officials will invest in the specialised programme to improve conditioning, psychology, bio-mechanics, match analysis, dietician and technical support.

'It depends on the quota set by organisers for the London Olympics,' he told Malaysia's Bernama news agency, referring to the number of specialists who will travel to the 2012 Games.