AIS director Peter Conde says the sports training institution must undertake “significant and necessary change” to fulfill it’s world-class leadership role and cannot return to what may have worked two decades ago.
Mr Conde outlined the key areas that will make the AIS a world-class facility again in an article posted on the AIS website and hinted at the potential sale of land at its Bruce campus.
The shift in focus for the AIS will be linked to the National Sport Plan which will be released shortly, with its high-performance strategy to become clearer in the coming months.
Mr Conde said the AIS has stopped using the Winning Edge brand and has significantly changed its strategy but was adamant that the old strategy was not to blame for a drop in Australia’s performance on the international stage.
“The AIS has been revolutionary for Australian sport over 37 years, and it can be again. But to fulfill that world-class leadership role it cannot return to what it used to be,” Mr Conde said.
“The AIS must again be the innovative-problem solver. The AIS was created to lead, not to follow or duplicate. We must search for what can make the AIS unique and again give Australian sport its competitive edge.
“In this evolving sporting landscape, the Australian high-performance system is crying out for national leadership.”
Mr Conde admitted that there is under-utilised land at the AIS campus, which was costly to maintain and hinted at a potential sale of the land and said the profit of the potential sale would be invested back into the Canberra campus to improve its facilities.
“There is under-utilised land at the AIS campus, which is costly to maintain. There is the potential to free capital, but the purpose would be to reinvest in facilities that are fit-for-purpose, world-class and provide a compelling package for sports and athletes,” Mr Conde said.
“This is a major undertaking and will require negotiation over time. Simultaneously, the AIS’ role must be nationally inclusive and not solely focused on its Canberra campus.”
Mr Conde said the achievement at the highest levels of international sport is very important to Australians and their national identity and he was ready for that responsibility.
“We believe [success] plays an important role in national pride and inspiring sport participation,” Mr Conde said.
“The AIS understands and accepts this responsibility. It’s why we’re intently focused on changing our future, not returning to the past.”