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NATIONAL ATHLETE SUPPORT STRUCTURE

Friday, 19 September 2014 | Anonym

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Athletics Australia (AA) will today extend the offer of National Athlete Support Structure (NASS) membership to 102 of the nation’s best athletes.

Set to capture 65 able-bodied and 37 para-athletes including Moscow 2013 medallists Sally Pearson (Qld), Jared Tallent (Vic) and Kim Mickle (WA) and para-athletics world champions Evan O’Hanlon (ACT) and Scott Reardon (NSW), the NASS is a high performance system that provides support to individual athletes who have the potential to contribute to the goals of the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Winning Edge.

“Congratulations to each of the athletes that will be offered membership to the National Athlete Support Structure. Athletics Australia and our partners across the state and territory institute and sport academy network look forward to working alongside you and your personal coaches as we aim to contribute to the aims of the Australian Institute of Sport’s Winning Edge plan,” Simon Nathan, the Athletics Australia High Performance Director, said.

“Now in its second year, the NASS will again see athletes allocated to either the Enhanced Program or the Team Program. The one significant change to the structure is the wording used to describe the categories of the Enhanced Program, with designations used now more closely aligned to the wording outlined by the Australian Institute of Sport. The Team Program will again capture athletes who are selected to compete for Australia in identified senior or junior championships, or domestic squads, during the upcoming membership period commencing 1 October 2014.”

“In a positive, we have been able to extend the offer of a higher level of membership to more athletes than we did in the NASS’s first year and all Commonwealth Games medallists have been captured within the program, highlighting an increased level of performance by Australian athletes. We have also for the first time added the Athletics Australia Under 19 Talent Squad to the Emerging Level of the Enhanced Program, providing the next generation of national representatives a chance to engage with the facilities of the state and territory institute and sport academy network.”

Similarly to last year, the NASS has been designed in close consultation with the AIS, and importantly this year all able-bodied events have modelling behind them to determine the appropriate standards.

“Athletics Australia has worked with the AIS to develop its NASS selection criteria.  This criteria is consistent with the principles of Australia’s Winning Edge, which seeks to ensure the right athletes get the right support at the right time,” Matt Favier, Director of the AIS, said.

Athletes supported by the NASS will be assigned an Athlete Performance Advisor in the AA office, providing a clear line of communication between the national body, the athlete in question and their personal coach and support network.

Each membership level will also be provided with benefits aligned to their membership level, with further details on what is included detailed within the NASS Selection Policy HERE.

The voting members of the NASS selection panel were Nathan as the High Performance Director, Paralympic Program Manager Andrew Faichney, Junior High Performance Manager Sara Mulkearns and, acting in the Head Coach role for this selection meeting, AIS-based Senior Athletics Coach Craig Hilliard.  Respected lawyer and former Australian representative Shaun Creighton and AIS Performance Manager David Tillotson acted as independent observers to ensure the criteria of the Selection Policy was upheld.  AA Chief Medical Officer Adam Castricum provided expert medical opinion when needed.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
-       A total of 203 athletes were considered in the selection meeting.
-       Of the 102 athletes to be offered membership, 18 are designated as Podium, a further 56 as Podium Potential and 24 as Development. Four athletes will be offered membership under the Medical category.
-       A further 45 athletes will be designated as Emerging in the able-bodied Enhanced Program, with these athletes forming the 2014/15 Athletics Australia Under 19 Talent Squad (the remaining 13 athletes in this squad have been offered a higher membership level).

A complete list of able-bodied athletes offered membership can be viewed HERE.

A complete list of para-athletes offered membership can be viewed HERE.

For more information on the NASS, or other AA high performance programs, please visit athletics.com.au.

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