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350+ performance support practitioners unite on the Gold Coast

13 October 2022

The 2022 Performance Support Forum has been hailed a huge success after attracting more than 350 performance support practitioners to the Gold Coast this week.

Support performance practitioners gather for group photo on stadium seats
Around 350 performance support practitioners descended to the Gold Coast for the first face-to-face forum.

AIS Professional Networks Manager Miranda Menaspà said the four-day event represented an exciting step forward for the Australian sport system in the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Games.

“This is the first time we’ve had multiple disciplines come together to discuss the same topics. To have different expertise and knowledge in the one room to drive the conversations has been really exciting.

“Everyone is in agreement that we really do want to work collectively and collaboratively together as a united system as we move forward,’’ said Menaspà.

Australian Olympic Committee President Ian Chesterman echoed this: “It’s really about helping athletes achieve their best and obviously the people in this room have a big part to play in that … they’re the engine behind the athlete or behind the sports team, so it’s nice to be here to share that vision.’’

The theme of the forum was ‘achieving sustainable success’ and unpacked topics such as high-performing teams, infection control, contemporary trends and the importance of practitioner wellbeing.

Experts from outside of sport also presented including Australian Medical Assistance Team Public Health Specialist Dr Nick Walsh who shared strategies around how to best support people in high functioning teams.

“Achieving optimal team performance is difficult, but it can be done through good preparation, making sure your systems are formalised … there’s a common understanding of what people should be doing … and a common objective,’’ said Dr Walsh.

Several athletes including 3-time Paralympic canoe gold medallist Curtis McGrath OAM and two-time world javelin champion Kelsey-Lee Barber also shared how crucial their performance support teams have been in helping them achieve success.

“It was really important for me as an athlete to share the experiences I’ve had with people that have come on the journey with me so far …  show just how important and well-integrated our team is and the success we can have from that,” said Barber.

While the insights exchanged were invaluable, so too were the connections made.

“People have been really missing the human connection so there was a real buzz from the minute the event started. There’s been an incredible amount of new connections made,’’ said Menaspà.

“The next steps will be maintaining the enthusiasm and continuing to leverage off one another’s great ideas and great work that’s being done in the system.’’

More information about the forum can be found here.

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