ALLIANZ Australia has reconfirmed its commitment to Australian para-sport through a new partnership with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) and the Australian Commonwealth Games Team, as well as re-signing with Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).
Allianz has extended its support for the APC to 2021 and is now aligned to the GC2018 Triathlon and the first ever Commonwealth Games Para-triathlon.
Allianz managing director, Richard Feledy said it was an honour to be supporting Australia’s athletes competing on home soil at GC2018.
“We are proud to invest in partnerships which reflect inspiration and innovation, which are both an important part of who we are,” Mr Feledy said. “What could be more inspiring than watching our athletes push themselves to the limit?”
“Two of these incredible athletes are Allianz ambassadors, Madison de Rozario and Nic Beveridge,” he said.
“Madison is a three-time Paralympian and a world champion in wheelchair racing, while Nic is an accomplished para-triathlete, having made his Paralympic debut in Rio in 2016. Both are medal contenders for the Commonwealth Games,” Mr Feledy said.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) chairman, former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said GC2018 was proud to partner with Allianz Australia to champion diversity and inclusion in Australia.
Mr Beattie said GC2018 had the largest integrated para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history with 38 medal events across seven para-sports.
Mr Feledy said Allianz had a long history of supporting diversity and inclusion.
“Through the APC, and their link with the Australian Commonwealth Games team, Allianz’s support will contribute to training programs and facilities, access to medical equipment, and travel needs for the thousands of athletes and supporters travelling to the Gold Coast for the event.”
He said Allianz was earlier recognised for its workplace programs by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the ninth year running, and has long been recognised for its support of refugee employment and education through a partnership with Settlement Services International.
“We hope to continue to grow our understanding, and promote representation, of a richly diverse Australia, and translate that to our customers’ experience,” Mr Feledy said.
THE AUSTRALIAN Institute of sport (AIS) has established the Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team, led by newly appointed AIS deputy director Matti Clements.
AIS director Peter Conde said as the peak agency for high performance sport in Australia, it was vital the AIS led the way with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) by prioritising athlete wellbeing.
“By establishing the Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team we are sending a clear message to our athletes and our sports that they are our greatest assets and they matter most to us,” Mr Conde said.
“Mental health and wellbeing is fundamental for any athlete. Proactive measures to promote athlete wellbeing will be an essential focus of this team, assisting sports and athletes to cope with the unique pressures of high performance environments. It’s about supporting athletes as they transition through key moments in their sporting lives and beyond.”
The Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team will focus on holistic athlete development, including life skills to negotiate the high performance environment, professional development in career and education and activities to assist community engagement and integration.
A former AIS sport psychologist, Ms Clements has returned to the institute after more than 15 years working with Australian professional sporting codes. Ms Clements said she was excited by the advancement in mental health support in sport, but greater emphasis and leadership was still required.
“It’s time for all Australian sport to recognise the importance of athlete mental health in the elite sporting environment and understand the need to support and encourage our great athletes to engage with their communities and in positive life activities outside of training and competing,” Ms Clements said
“There has no doubt been a shift in the understanding of mental health in Australian society and as we talk about it more there is less stigma. But that stigma still exists. Athletes are generally tuned to be strong, fearless and to not show vulnerability, so we need to culturally embed athlete wellbeing in sporting environments.
“For the ASC Board, CEO and the AIS director to understand and support the importance of this area in high performance sport shows international leadership and I am extremely proud to be asked to be part of the new Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team. It’s an exciting time to be part of elite sport in this country.”
THE American National Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketball Australia (BA) have launched the NBA Global Academy – an elite training centre for Australian and international basketball prospects – at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.
AIS director Mat Favier helped launch the NBA Global Academy, which will serve as the NBA’s hub for top male and female prospects from outside the United States. The initial intake will include players from India, Africa, China, Argentina and Australia.