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Australia To Review Culture & Leadership

Nov 13, 2012  - Craig Lord

Swimming Australia’s today appointment of consultancy firm Bluestone Edge to conduct a review into the culture of the sport at the elite level, the federation has announced.

The move follows accusations and confessions on the London 2012 Australia squad that the nation's big male sprint hopes upset team dynamics and were not pulled up for behaviour that upset their teammates. The latest initiative, to report by February, was welcomed by Daniel Kowalski, retired Olympic medallist and now General Manager of the Australian Swimmers’ Association. 

Dr Pippa Grange, Bluestone Edge director, will lead the "assessment of culture and leadership" to be conducted in parallel with the broader review underway by the Independent Swimming Review Panel, chaired by Warwick Smith.

Said Swimming Australia: "The review will be highly confidential, independent and seek solutions moving forward."

Newly appointed President o the federation Barclay Nettlefold added: "Dr Grange and her team have been engaged in similar work with elite sporting teams and corporate organisations, with demonstrated success."

"Bluestone Edge is committed to helping sports people and organisations flourish, using working models based on good ethical thinking, optimal organisational performance and active leadership. The work will cover our swimmers, coaches, our executive management group and the Board,” he added.

Dr Grange said: “The focus of our work will be on making recommendations that can help build a sound, sustainable culture that focuses on athlete and organisational wellbeing.:

Kowalski indicated that Nettlefold has been a breath of fresh air, saying: “In his short time as Swimming Australia President, Barclay has communicated almost daily with myself and other ASA executives, updating us where he can. Barclay is extremely passionate about the sport and our swimmers. He wants the swimmers voices heard and is doing all he can to ensure they have the opportunity to fulfil their goals. Our swimmers should feel confident about the direction the sport is heading."