Orienteering Australia has endorsed a new squad structure to operate from 2014.
The aim of the new Talent Development Squad Structure is to support a diversity of athlete progressions into and along the High Performance pathway.
At the national level of the Talent Development Structure there will be a High Performance Squad (HPS).This will include committed, talented senior(+21) and junior (17-20) athletes. The consolidation of the senior and junior HP Squads aims to assist the smooth transition from junior to senior elite competition. From this squad will be chosen a smaller Elite HP Squad who have achieved the benchmark of WOC representation.
Below the HPS will be a National Development Squad (NDS) which will comprise athletes aiming to achieve benchmark performances at Oceania Championships, Easter, Aus Champs and NOL events to be eligible for the HPS. There will also be at this level a Australian Junior Development Squad (AJDS) comprising juniors who are progressing from the Australian Schools competition and who will be aiming for benchmark performances at NOL, Easter and Australian Champs events.
The base of the HP program will be a Targeted Talented Athlete Squad (TTA) to enable a smooth transition into the HP program for both senior and junior athletes. Assimilation into the program will happen through invitation to camps and activities appropriate to the age of the Targeted Talented Athlete.
This squad structure will be supported by coaching support that will comprise a National Head Coach, a Talent Development Coach, National Development Coaches and High Performance Squad Coaches (WOC and JWOC coaches).
Squad membership will be determined by eligibility based on benchmark performances. The number of athletes who reach the benchmark performances will determine the number of athletes in each squad. The actual benchmark performances for different age groups and talent stages can be found in the FTEM framework section of the HP Strategic Plan. This will be discussed at the OA Annual Conference in late November and will be featured in articles in the OA magazine in December and March. It will be made available also on the OA website.
The squad memberships for 2014 will be announced by the end of November. This will be based on the information provided by the athletes who have completed the application form ( see earlier article on OA website).