By this point, it wasn’t much of a secret to anybody down under, but early Tuesday morning, Swimming Australia officially announced that Mark Anderson would be their new CEO, and Michael Scott would be the new High Performance Director.
Anderson comes from a background at Hockey Australia (that is, field hockey), one of Australia’s most successful national programs. During Anderson’s tenure, the Australian men’s national team won the 2010 World Cup, and took a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. The women’s program wasn’t quite as successful with Anderson leading the program, but with a 5th-place finish in London they certainly matched their more recent history.
Scott, meanwhile, comes from a similar role with British Swimming, where it was decided that he needed to move to the UK for the program to maintain its highest levels of success. Instead, he’s returned to a role in Australia (where he lived throughout his time with British Swimming). He was previously the Director of the Australian Institute of Sport.
As an indicator of the expectation of this announcement, in March, officials from Hockey Australia went on the record confirming that Anderson was the “preferred candidate” for USA Swimming.
Below is the full press release from Swimming Australia
Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold has today announced that Mark Anderson has been appointed as the new Swimming Australia Chief Executive Officer, with Michael Scott to take on the role of Director of High Performance.
Currently the CEO of Hockey Australia and a former Chief Commercial Officer at the Essendon Football Club, Anderson will bring strong governance and commercial experience to the role, as well as a clear understanding of Australia’s high performance systems.
The National Performance Director at British Swimming since 2007, Scott is a former Director of the AIS and NSWIS and was the CEO of the organising committee for the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships, held in Melbourne.
Nettlefold said both Anderson and Scott were the standout candidates for the positions and will combine well to provide the organisation with the administrative and high performance swimming knowledge and experience required to lead the sport towards Rio and beyond.
“Firstly I’d like to thank interim CEO Jeremy Turner for his outstanding work in the role over the last six months, particularly around the initial implementation of many of the recommendations for improvement within the organisation,” said Nettlefold.
“We’ve gone through an exhaustive process to find the right people to lead our sport and we know Mark and Michael have the skills and acumen to take the organisation forward.”
“Mark has had some outstanding success with hockey over the last four years, at both a governance and high performance level, and his commercial experience in both elite and professional sport will be of huge benefit to Swimming Australia,” said Nettlefold.
“In our new Director of High Performance Michael Scott, we have a career sports administrator with more than a decade of high performance swimming experience and knowledge.
“These appointments are just another positive step in setting up the best leadership structure to enable athletes and coaches to perform at their best.”
Anderson says he’s looking forward to the challenge of working with one of Australia’s leading Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports, as well as looking at ways to increase participation and engagement across the sports large interest base.
“Swimming has such a proud history of success and high levels of participation in Australia. I am greatly looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of leading the sport towards Glasgow, Rio and beyond,” said Anderson.
“In working through this process I have been impressed with the amount of work that has already been undertaken and energy levels from all involved to bring about improvement at all levels of the sport.”
“I’m looking forward to leading this change process collaboratively with all of our key internal stakeholders such as the Board, Executive team and staff, athletes, coaches, officials, our State Members and our valuable external partners.
“It is an exciting opportunity as we all work together to establish Australian swimming as a respected world leader across every area of our sport,” stated Anderson.
For Scott, who resigned from his position at British Swimming in November last year so he could remain living in Australia, the chance to return to a key swimming role in his home country was too good to refuse.
“I have a great passion for swimming and know that Australia has the athletes, coaches, facilities and drive to be a huge success in the pool,” said Scott.
“We’ve always been a proud swimming nation, and we have a legacy of high performance to uphold in the sport. I’m sure everyone is aware of the challenge ahead, and I’m just looking forward to assisting the athletes and coaches wherever I can to meet that challenge.”
Anderson, will start officially with Swimming Australia on Monday 6 May, and will attend the opening weekend of the 2013 EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships in Adelaide, while Scott’s official start date is still to be confirmed.