Delegates to the Orienteering Australia Annual Conference on Saturday 4 December were treated to an informative, interesting and challenging presentation by Andrew Collins, Director of Sports Planning and Performance at the Australian Sports Commission. Collins, who has recently competed in Adventure Racing and orienteering events in Canberra, outlined the major changes that had occurred in Australian Sport over the last 18 months. These included sport system strategic shifts from just sport outcomes to broader policy objectives, from National Sporting Organisations being grant beneficiaries to system partners, from a high performance focus to whole of pathway planning, and from competition among Federal-state programs and relations to cooperation.
The ASC’s goals now include increased participation in sport, increased international success, a cohesive and effective national sports system, sustainable sports, and enhanced ASC capacity to lead, partner and support.
Collins outlined the ASC’s expectations of Orienteering Australia in respect of the recently announced funding of $100,000 per year to increase participation. He said OA was granted the funding because it had a good product that appeals to a broad spectrum of participants, that it successfully adapted its product in Park and Street Orienteering to meet consumer demand, and that OA was seen as a well-run sport for its size and resources. However, the ASC requires effective engagement and shared accountability between OA and state associations, well thought out and measureable performance indicators, effective data collection, and ongoing review, evaluation and plan development.
The highest initial priorities are new park and street programs in southern and western Sydney and in priority regional centres in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, and duo mountain bike/foot programs in NSW. Opportunities for extending existing successful programs or setting up programs in new regional areas in the coming years will be reviewed by all state associations. Other priorities receiving funding include online video and self coaching resources, a Rural Coaching and Officiating Development Scheme, and enhanced online organisational manuals.
Following the ASC presentation the Conference workshopped updating the OA Strategic Plan to incorporate the new strategic and funding directions, many of which are all well advanced by state associations in their own planning and funding arrangements.
Picture: Andrew Collins (ASC), John Harding (Executive Officer, OA), Bill Jones (President, OA), Kim Williams (Orienteering Sports Consultant, ASC).