Aussie preparation pays off

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 @ 2:10AM

One week in and our Aussie team is having a fantastic Paralympics! In true innovative Australian style, the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has drawn on past experience and applied those lessons to the London Games. 

One of the important innovations has been the approach to team preparation. For the first time the Australian Paralympic Committee set up a staging camp based in Cardiff, Wales. The camp was in operation from the 1st of August until the 28th and provided our athletes with an opportunity to put the final touches on their preparation for the London Paralympic Games.  Of the 13 sports, 8 were based in Cardiff before moving to the Paralympic village on the 29th of August. 

While based at the camp, our athletes had the opportunity to acclimatize and get used to the conditions of the UK (it’s still gets hot over here) not to mention to get over the effects of jet-lag. Cardiff was also far enough away from the masses and the excited environment of London to be the perfect place to train and bond as a team. And at the same time being able to access APC facilities and services to ensure they were in optimal condition for the 2 week competition. 

In addition, through a partnership with the AIS, seven coaches were given the opportunity to have a ‘fast track’ experience in preparation for Rio in 2016.  They were based in Cardiff and have joined the team in London, learning for the future.

The results of this excellent innovation by the APC are evident for all to see, with personal bests being achieved, world records being created and medals being won. When I asked athletes about their preparation, they rave about the benefit of the staging camp at Cardiff and believe it made a real difference to their preparation and performance.

Congratulations to the APC for this great idea. Having the confidence and capacity to innovate requires vision and strong leadership. This is the future of Australian sport. So it’s wonderful to see new ideas being implemented with positive results.

The wonderful philosophy of the APC and their huge network of support staff is to serve the needs of the athletes so they can be the best they can be when their moment in competition comes. It’s a huge credit to our athletes too as they apply the effects of their hard work and determination, training for years for the honour of representing Australia, inspiring us all.

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