After an analysis of all High Performance Centres within the nation, Swimming Australia has announced that is National Training Centre (NTC) Transition Program in Canberra will be closing at the end of the 2018 calendar year.
Per Swimming Australia’s Chief Strategist, High Performance, Alex Baumann, stated, “With two years to go to Tokyo it was important we evaluated all eleven of our High Performance Centres to ensure that the support we provide is meeting our performances objectives.
“We are very fortunate to be in a position, through the support of Sport Australia, Principal Partners Hancock Prospecting and Optus, and our other partners, that we can provide world-class facilities and support in programs all over Australia.
“This means that athletes, including developing athletes, now have more choice than ever regarding the location of their training programs and there is no need for a centralised residential program.
“We will continue to work closely with the AIS in Canberra, both through the continuation of our High Performance Para Program and accessing facilities to support high performance camps and the National Relay Project Testing,” he said.
NTC Transition Program Head Coach Tracey Menzies will remain connected to Swimming Australia, but her role is not yet determined, per Swimming Australia’s announcement.
This closure comes in conjunction with the news that the government-funded Australia Institute of Sports (AIS) is cutting funding for a number of sports it deems as having ‘low Olympic medal-winning chances.’
Table tennis and synchronized swimming are among the sports whose funding has been cut, with additional sports not yet made public.
The Australian Olympic Committee has immediately responded with dismay to the cuts. AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll said in a statement, “Sports that are lifting performance through well thought-out strategic plans, employing coaches and driving improvement in their systems have found themselves abandoned or facing great uncertainty.
“It would be naive to think that high performance athletes can enjoy their best preparation when there is financial pressure on coaching, programs, competitions and rising costs.”