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Ironman to spearhead swimming overhaul

April 14, 2013
Trevor Hendy (photo :

Trevor Hendy (photo :

Former ironman champion Trevor Hendy is among a group of experts chosen to spearhead cultural and leadership changes within the troubled Australian swim team.

Swimming Australia (SA) on Sunday said it had engaged a team of specialists to introduce a number of new team-building and leadership programs for athletes, coaches and staff, as part of a major rebuild in the wake of the London Olympics.

The group of experts, led by Dr Pippa Grange, includes adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and high performance leadership consultant Errol Amerasekera.

They will focus on developing emotional resilience and well-being in young athletes and organisational health and integrity, SA said.

The 2012 Games was the first time Australia failed to win an individual swimming Olympic gold medal since 1976.

A review into the swim team’s performance found a “toxic” culture, including instances of “getting drunk, misuse of prescription drugs, breaching curfews, deceit, bullying”.

Sunday’s announcement came less than a week after SA appointed Mark Anderson as its new chief executive and Michael Scott as high performance director.

SA president Barclay Nettlefold said the initiative, dubbed “Off the Blocks”, was a step forward in improving the sport and enabling athletes and coaches to perform at their best.

“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,” Nettlefold said in a statement.

The program will kick off with orientation camps next month following the selection of the swim teams for the World Championships in Barcelona and Montreal starting August.


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