Shooting Australia today announced a comprehensive program of events for the 2021 National Performance Series.
The series that was cancelled in 2020, will see up to 40 major competitions held across the Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun and Fullbore disciplines with several of them fully integrated with Able and Para athletes shooting side by side.
Commencing next month, the majority of Performance Series events in each discipline will serve as selection qualifying events for either the 2021 ISSF Junior World Championships, the 2021 Oceania Shooting Federation Championships, or the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships to be held in India in January, 2022.
Conducted in partnership with Shooting Australia’s Member Organisations and Event Partners, the 2021 Performance Series will also provide the most meaningful competition for athletes in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in July, August, and September next year.
Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said the Performance Series schedule provides a multitude of benefits for athletes while providing a clear National Teams selection pathway.
“Given the uncertainty of whether our Olympic and Paralympic Team members will be able to travel overseas prior to the Tokyo Games, we need to ensure there is a high-level domestic competition series that gives athletes a great preparation before they leave for the Games,” said Mr van Kempen.
“We’re also utilising the Performance Series to select our National Teams who will compete at the 2021 ISSF Junior World Championships, 2021 Oceania Shooting Federation Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships. These teams will be selected from the nominated events within each discipline over the course of the year.
“This means that there will be consistent opportunities for athletes to compete in meaningful, high-level competitions which we believe will continue to elevate athlete performance standards.
Mr van Kempen also outlined a revamped National Team Selection Strategy and a new National Squad Structure.
“The existing National Squad, Aiming for Gold (A4G), was established to identify a group of athletes who Shooting Australia support to develop towards National Team selection and medal success in international competition,” said Mr van Kempen.
“Over the course of this year, we reviewed this structure in line with the direction that the Australian Institute of Sport is taking with all of their funded sports. As a result, we have developed a new three-tier squad structure,” he added.
The squads are:
High Performance Squad – Current world-class athletes who have demonstrated their ability to regularly make finals and win medals in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) competitions in recent years
Performance Squad – Athletes who are regularly achieving selection to National Teams and whose international performances indicate that they are ‘on track’ to making finals and win medals in ISSF competitions
Pathways Squad – Athletes who are considered capable of achieving National Team selection based largely on their performances in domestic competition (i.e. junior or senior) and demonstrated commitment to becoming a High Performance athlete.
“The introduction of this tiered National Squad structure will enhance our program impact by allowing a clear delineation of athletes at different stages of their development allowing us to cater for them with appropriate support and resourcing,” said Mr van Kempen.
“Under the new structure our National Coaches and High Performance staff will have the ability to engage with athletes earlier in their journey through the evolving pathway,” he added.
Mr van Kempen said the High Performance Selection Strategy was reviewed following the Tokyo 2020 cycle.
“The National Team Selection Strategy has been revamped as we head into the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle. The improvements to the strategy are in line with the changes we’ve seen across the Australian Institute of Sport direction for Australian High Performance sport, as well as the changes to the ISSF competition structure leading into Paris 2024.
“We’re confident that our new National Squad structure along with the 2021-2022 National Team Selection Strategy and 2021 Performance Series of events will go a long way to ensuring Shooting remains one of Australia’s most successful Olympic sports,” he said.
Full details of the event specific selection policies will be available in the New Year.
2021 NATIONAL PERFORMANCE SERIES
Team Selection Key
jWCH: ISSF Junior World Championships
OC: Oceania Championships
CSC: Commonwealth Shooting Championships
PISTOL – Pistol Australia (PA)
Rifle – Target Rifle Australia (TRA)
Shotgun – Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA)
Fullbore – National Rifle Association of Australia
Further information; Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications, Ph; 0418 239 139. E: [email protected]