Swimming Australia Announces “Off the Block” Program, Including Adolescent Psychologist

Swimming Australia, in the latest move to overhaul their culture, has announced a new “Off the Blocks” program that intends to affect the youth members of its elite program and develop a culture overhaul and leadership change.

This continues a new era of transparency under the leadership of Barclay Nettlefold; it’s hard to remember a period where any major national swimming organization was as open and public with these sorts of initiatives as Swimming Australia has been. It also gives another nod to Daniel Kowalski and the Australian Swimming Association, which is the organization that represents and organizes the interests of the athletes in the country.

Among those involved are Dr. Pippa Grange from Bluestone Edge, the consulting firm that did one of the big reviews of Australian culture; champion Ironman triathlete Trevor Hendy, and adolescent psychologist Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg.

Read the full press release from Swimming Australia below.

In the lead up to the 2013 EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships in Adelaide later this month, Swimming Australia is pleased to announce a new “Off the Blocks” program introducing the out of pool talent to work with EnergyAustralia Swim Team to develop culture in leadership in the build-up to Rio.

As part of a six-stage methodology for cultural and leadership change, the ‘Off the Blocks’ program will see Swimming Australia engage a team of expert partners led by Dr. Pippa Grange and Bluestone Edge, to introduce a number of new programs and initiatives to the team.

Grange and her colleagues will be joined by champion ironman and mentor Trevor Hendy and his business partner and high performance leadership consultant Errol Amerasekera developing an intensive, experiential team building and leadership program for athletes, coaches and staff.

The team will also include Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, a renowned adolescent psychologist, on developing emotional resilience and well-being in young athletes, and Stephen Moore of Optimum Performance HR who will be working on policy, process and codes to maintain organisational health and integrity.

Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold said the ‘Off the Blocks’ program is just another step forward in addressing a number of recommendations to improve the sport and enable athletes and coaches to perform at their best.

“We’ve spent a lot of time talking to experts in this field and in this team, led by Pippa Grange and Trevor Hendy we’ve developed a strong combination for our athletes, coaches and staff,” said Nettlefold.

“Being able to announce our new CEO and Director of High Performance this week, followed by this ‘Off the Blocks’ program, is just another step in the right direction for the sport in the lead up to the EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships.”

“We’ve also developed a much stronger partnership with the Australian Swimmers’ Association, through their General Manager Daniel Kowalski and the ‘Off the Blocks’ program marks a fresh new era for swimming and a deep commitment to support swimmers, staff and coaches to truly meet their potential in and out of the pool.”

The ‘Off the Blocks’ program will commence with a series of discussions and team building exercises at the Orientation Camps in Canberra (May 4-9) and Adelaide (May 4-6) following the selection of the EnergyAustralia Swim teams for the World Championships in Barcelona and Montreal.

Key Dates:
EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships – SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Adelaide – Apr 26 to May 3
EnergyAustralia Swim Team – Barcelona Orientation Camp – AIS Canberra – May 4-9
EnergyAustralia Swim Team – Montreal Orientation Camp – Adelaide – May 4-6
2013 FINA World Championships – Barcelona – July 28 to August 4
2013 IPC World Championships – Montreal – Aug 12-18

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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