The search is on for a new “High Performance Manager” for Australian cycling’s governing body, Cycling Australia. It was announced today that a recruitment agency, SRi, will be taking applications to find a replacement for Kevin Tabotta who held the position since 2005.
Tabotta announced his resignation on 19 September, shortly after returning from the Rio Olympics.
Today’s announcement outlines the position:
“Ultimately responsible for the performance of all elite teams, the HPD will focus on the elite and high performance strategy across the disciplines of track, road, BMX, mountain bike and para-cycling.”
And it is clear that the concepts raised in the so-called “Winning-Edge” strategy will continue to be pursued as we roll towards the next Olympic rendezvous for cycling, Tokyo 2020.
The statement reiterates the focus of the HPU, and the Olympics remains part of pivotal strategic planning.
The CEO of CA, Nick Green, is quoted in the release today: “While we fell short on our overall expectations for the Rio Olympic Games, our overall vision has not been deterred and we remain focused on ensuring that our high performance programs and athletes are among the very best in the world.”
Tabotta held the role through three Olympic cycles and before him the position was held by Michael Flynn, who took over the role from Shayne Bannan, now the general manager of the Orica-BikeExchange WorldTour team.
“The successful candidate will review and reshape the four-year plan and will have an unapologetic focus on ensuring podium appearances at benchmark events including the 2018 Commonwealth and 2020 Olympic Games and beyond,” explained Green in the announcement on 27 October 2016.
“This role presents a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the delivery of our high performance programs both strategically and operationally.”
For the full job description, click here.
According to the recruitment campaign: “The CA HPU has circa 40-45 staff and a budget of circa $10 million. In addition to leading coaches across all functions and geographies, the HPD will ensure that the input of all stakeholders is maximised and aligned to AWE performance strategy and the agreed national direction.”
The announcement of the recently advertised position comes on the day that the CA Board meets in Melbourne.
The new High Performance Manager will oversee a large staffing infrastructure and a healthy budget and remuneration will, of course, be “commensurate with the experience”.
The successful applicant will be required to relocate to South Australia.
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Shortly before Tabotta formalised his plan to resign, which had been decided prior to the Rio Olympic campaign, he was interviewed by RIDE Media and we nominated a couple of possible candidates for positions at Cycling Australia.
Kevin Tabotta on Shane Sutton
Q. Shane Sutton has turned Team GB around over the years… would you ever offer him a job?
A. “If you’re talking about people in the ilk of Shane Sutton, you’re talking about guys that are already operating very high positions … My understanding it that he’s going through a review with British Cycling and who’s to say that he wouldn’t be reappointed anyway with British Cycling. I think we’ve got to let that process run out and then the powers that be – way above my remit in sport – may have some decisions to make around that, or anyone else in our system.”
A return of Heiko Salzwedel?
Q. I had some dialogue with [former national road cycling coach, Heiko Salzwedel] during the Games and he was saying that he would love to come back to Australia. What are the chances of us enticing him back into the fold of Cycling Australia as a coach?
A. “Well, that’s a loaded question. I guess it’s not something that we would consider whether we’re hiring coaches or performance directors at this point in time, that’s not a consideration that we will address until we’ve gone through a full review of the process. Then we’ll see who’s available out there and what positions are available.
“That’s probably not an easy one for me to comment on because I believe we’ve got some of the best staff in the world around our programs at the moment.”
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We wait with interest to see who the applicants are and what they’ll be able to do for Cycling Australia in the years ahead.
In the meantime, the review of the Rio Olympics will continue tomorrow in Adelaide with a number of key coaching staff making the trip to South Australia to front a panel and explain their take on the fall-out of the Games in Brazil.