A long-term partnership between Griffith University and Swimming Australia is set to have a major impact on legacy, sustainability and inclusion programs in and out of the pool.
The new collaboration prioritises opportunities for athletes from grassroots to elite levels, advances in education and research as well as community-centric programs.
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans, said the alliance signifies the shared values of Swimming Australia and Griffith University.
“The foundation of this partnership is improving outcomes for the whole community, which involves overcoming barriers in access to swimming and focusing on climate positive approaches,” VC Carolyn Evans said.
“Griffith has been synonymous with swimming success for many years now and this exciting relationship with Swimming Australia will see our high-level support extend beyond the pool.”
President Michelle Gallen said Swimming Australia has proudly partnered with Griffith University through high performance initiatives over the years, but today’s announcement was about creating a legacy.
“Ours is a country that loves water with swimming Australia’s highest participation sport,” Dr Gallen said.
“It is also the most high profile of our Olympic and Paralympic sports, responsible for 50 per cent of our medals.
“And while our high-performance programs have returned world-wide success, our latest strategic plan promises to deliver innovation and engagement with a wider community.
“This is a partnership that we hope we can extend and take us through to Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“We look forward to providing opportunities for athletes and administration professionals through a scholarship program, students through on the job experience via internship programs as well as working with Griffith on crucial research programs that will identify key areas around diversity, health and wellbeing.”
Programs within the partnership are aligned with the Brisbane 2032 legacy plan, emphasising inclusion and diversity, sustainability, and athlete well-being.
Swimming Australia and Griffith’s joint endeavour to grow indigenous connections through sport is determined to have indigenous athlete as well as para-athlete representation on the 2032 national swim team.
“Nurturing the next generation of Australian swimmers and ensuring that swimming is as inclusive as possible is about much more than how many medals are won,” Professor Evans said.
“It’s about improving health outcomes, strengthening community bonds, and building a carbon-positive future.”
Associate Professor Clare Minahan from Griffith’s School of Health Sciences and Social Work said the alliance will also concentrate investment into core research areas.
“With this partnership comes an opportunity for well-considered, impactful research that will be translated to improve athlete health, wellness, and performance,” Associate Professor Minahan said.
Griffith’s Director of Sports Engagement Duncan Free OAM said Griffith’s two-decade long history with Swimming Australia has seen the delivery of breakthrough research, student engagement and opportunity.
“The partnership has resulted in the collaboration of academics creating opportunities for students, research initiatives, preparing athletes for high performance outcomes and supporting the student swimmer cohort, which is the largest sport represented in the Griffith Sports College,” Mr Free said.
Ranked number one at the Commonwealth Games, Griffith had 52 students and alumni compete at the recent Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, placing Griffith number one in Australia for both student representation and results – and top five globally.
Twenty-three of Griffith’s elite swimmers, including Zac Stubblety-Cook and Cody Simpson, will compete for a spot on the Dolphins’ team at the 2023 World Championships Trials in Melbourne next week ahead of July’s World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.