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Triathlon’s Future Strategy Sets Platform For Success

Triathlon’s Future Strategy Sets Platform For Success

Triathlon has taken a positive step towards future success, with a renewed high performance direction and strategy endorsed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) following a strategic review of the sport’s Olympic and Paralympic high performance programs. 

Triathlon’s Refresh process has been overseen by a Project Steering Group (PSG) of nine, and chaired by the AIS. 

The Refresh process assessed Triathlon Australia’s (TA) high performance and pathways strategy, evidence base, performance history and trajectory over multiple Games cycles. It has been informed by comprehensive intelligence gathering and stakeholder consultation, including the AIS Athlete Wellbeing Health Check, the Tokyo Games Team Debrief as well as contribution from the triathlon community through an independently facilitated process, capturing feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders across the sport. 

The PSG recognised the positive steps TA had taken prior to the Tokyo Games, that were identified as key for future success. These included securing increased AIS Pathways investment, establishment of the Podium Centre and progress to strengthen and re-establish key partnerships with the National Institute Network (NIN).  

Outcomes of the Refresh process also included:  

High Performance Strategy 
Triathlon’s high performance strategy was reviewed through the Refresh process, with support for the sport’s increased focus on coaching technical direction across the high performance program and prioritisation of paratriathlon performance with 11 medal events in Paris 2024. 

Evidence-based Performance Pathways Strategy 
Recognition of a strong evidence base, including triathlon’s What It Takes to Win modelling, which underpins TA’s longer-term performance pathway strategy. Acknowledgement of TA’s strong NIN partnerships and growth in Pathway program investment over the past 18 months.  

High Performance Environments 
Triathlon received support for the continued establishment and development of world-class Olympic and Paralympic training environments through the Podium Centre and camps-based Paratriathlon Hub, and pathways focused Performance Centres delivered in partnership with the NIN. 

Following the conclusion of the Refresh process, the AIS endorsed TA’s high performance and pathways strategy and confirmed the high performance investment in triathlon for the program leading to Paris 2024.   

A Refresh Implementation Plan has also been endorsed by the PSG to be achieved during 2022 including a transition to a new high performance organisational structure, which is reflective of the agreed high performance strategy.  

TA’s high performance workforce will operate under five key performance functions in the new structure: Paralympic Performance; Olympic Performance; Performance Pathway & Athlete Development; Wellbeing & Engagement; and Performance Support.  

The structure will enable the increased focus and prioritisation of Paralympic performance, and increased coaching technical leadership across the Olympic program, while elevating Wellbeing & Engagement as a Senior Leadership function. Following staff consultation, the new structure will take immediate effect, and recruitment for high performance positions will soon commence including Performance Pathway and Athlete Development Manager, Paratriathlon Hub and Talent Coach (both roles funded by AIS Pathways grants) and Campaign Lead (Olympic Program). 

TA will also continue ongoing refinement of various annualised high performance processes, policies and frameworks including National Athlete Categorisation Framework and Wellbeing and Engagement Framework, applying insights from the Refresh process. Revised terms of reference will be established for the Elite Athlete Commission (in line with TA’s constitution) and Elite Selection Committee along with an expression of interest process for Committee membership.  

TA will continue to share the high performance and pathways strategy with athletes, coaches and the wider community, including through a Pathways Roadshow to be delivered in the coming months. 

Progress of Refresh implementation actions will be reviewed by the PSG with a Progress Review to take place in September 2022. 

Triathlon Australia President, Michelle Cooper takes confidence in the outcomes of Triathlon’s Refresh, and the sport’s ability to deliver a sustainable performance culture. 

“Refresh was an opportunity to holistically review our high performance program, and critically assess what’s in place, and opportunities to strengthen our performance culture, taking into account input from our performance network, coaches, athletes, and community,” said Cooper. 

“We’re pleased to have endorsed, through this process with the PSG and independent experts, our evidence-based performance and pathways strategy, as well as an agreed high performance structure to ensure we are best positioned to execute our strategy.  

“Through TA’s new performance structure and functions, we have further enhanced the support for Paralympic performance, and our commitment to Wellbeing and Engagement. We will also continue to focus on attracting and retaining world leading coaches and people, and increasing coaching opportunities through our system partnerships. 

“On behalf of the Board, I want to acknowledge and thank all the athletes, coaches, staff and those in the triathlon community for their engagement and feedback through this important process.  

“This is an exciting time for triathlon, we’ve got a green and gold decade ahead - with Victoria 2026 and Brisbane 2032 on the horizon - and we’re confident together, we can deliver on our Winning When It Matters strategic priority, and achieve sustained success across future Games.” 

AIS Acting CEO, Matti Clements acknowledged Triathlon Australia’s commitment and engagement throughout the Refresh review process. 

“The AIS acknowledges Triathlon Australia’s collaboration and commitment to working with us on this joint comprehensive review of their Olympic and Paralympic high performance (HP) programs,” said Clements.  

“During this process Triathlon Australia has demonstrated consistent and strong engagement. 

“This included an independent community engagement process with over 100 contributions and 22 one-on-one interviews led by an experienced independent facilitator, which helped inform the outcomes of the review on matters such as leadership, culture and governance, performance planning, coaching, athlete performance and pathways.”  

“These reviews can be challenging, but Triathlon Australia has shown a genuine commitment to making positive change for their sport and we support them on their quest for future success.” 

High Performance Structure & Staff >>

Triathlon Australia High Performance Strategy Summary >>