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Leading expert calls for 'long game' approach to high performance sport

06 November 2019

The former head of the world-beating British Olympic Cycling program has called for the sector to take a ‘long game’ approach to high performance sport

Peter Keen speaking on day one of the 2019 World Class to World Best conference

Peter Keen, coach of British legend Chris Boardman and former performance director of British cycling, says sport needs to ensure strategies put in place can have impact not only for the foreseeable future but for long-term success.

Keen spoke of his experiences in the UK sport system and reflected that a lot of success ‘now’ can be linked to system or culture changes that occurred many years prior.

“It is probably a six to ten year journey (for an athlete) from when that lightbulb first ignites to somebody who can be said to be a true master of their domain,” said Keen.

“When they are able to not just win but they are able to understand at a deep level what they are doing and how they are doing it.”

Keen’s speech was just one of the highlights from day one of the AIS World Class to World Best conference, which concluded with an exclusive screening of the documentary ‘The Final Quarter’.

The screening was the perfect conclusion to the first day of the AIS World Class to Best Conference, taking place from 6-8th November, with keynote speakers reflecting on the journey to achieving true diversity and inclusion in sport.

The film tells the story of the last three years of the career of AFL champion Adam Goodes and the ‘booing’ he endured, with film director Ian Darling telling the room his inspiration for the film came simply from his desire to understand what happened and why.

“The key objectives of this (The Final Quarter) was to get the conversation going again,” said Darling “We wanted to hold a mirror up to the nation.

“We didn’t want to be accusatory or lecture people, we wanted people to make their own decision by seeing the footage again and asking themselves the questions ‘Where was I when the booing was happening’ ‘Did I boo?’ Did I ask someone to stop booing?

“And in addition we wanted to get into the classrooms of Australia because this next generation of Australians are going to be so powerful if they can actually have the conversation about race that we’ve found to be too hard.”

Exclusive screening of 'The Final Quarter'

Coming up on Day 2, Thursday 7th November

  • A keynote from Dr Benny Lo on ‘Intelligence Sensing for Sport’ and how coaches can merge with science
  • Leading wellness expert Professor Frances Quirk (Director New England Institute of Healthcare Research, Medicine & Health Faculty) on connecting the gut, brain and body for health and wellbeing in sport.
  • An insightful conversation with Dr Ruth Anderson (Head of Performance Psychology and Behaviours, Cycling Australia), Chris Jensen Burke (High Altitude mountaineer & lawyer), Rosie Stanimirovic (AIS Gold Medal Ready Program Manager) and Dr Andrew Cooke on building a winning mindset and mental preparation in competition.

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