SASI staff step up to national roles

The skills and expertise of South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) staff have been recognised with the recent appointments of SASI staff to national roles.

Brett Aitken with SASI cycling team

  • Biomechanist & Skill Acquisition Specialist Dr Sian Barris and Performance Analyst Tim Rawlins have been appointed to part-time national lead roles with Swimming Australia in Skill Acquisition and Performance Analysis, respectively.
  • Senior Sport Physiologist Dr Jamie Stanley has been appointed to part-time national lead roles in physiology with both Swimming Australia and AusCycling for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Cycles.
  • Cycling Head Coach Brett Aitken has been elevated into a full-time national coaching role as the Interim Men’s Track Endurance Coach for AusCycling through to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August.
  • Head Hockey Coach Hugh Purvis will join the Hockeyroos as Assistant Coach for a short-term campaign going into the 2022 World Cup in June/July.

Having worked with gold medal winning para-cyclists in the lead up to the Tokyo Paralympics, Dr Jamie Stanley believes there is a huge opportunity to build on this in his new role.

“My key objective is to ensure the para cycling team have the processes and support in place so they can repeat and surpass the success in Tokyo 2020, in Paris 2024,” Stanley said.

“Specifically, this involves developing processes aimed at improving the ability to monitor athlete health status and training progression, and strategies for performance optimisation at key events – I’m excited to see how much more we can achieve.”

He also acknowledged the role SASI has played to get him to this point in his career.

“SASI has given me the freedom and flexibility to explore and pursue my interest areas through applied research, partnerships with technology companies, and embedded roles in various national programs.

“These experiences have accelerated my career development, afforded me greater exposure, and given me the confidence to have a broader impact.”

Hugh Purvis described the opportunity to work with the Hockeyroos as a dream come true and he’s excited to use this experience to further develop his role at SASI.

“It’s been a professional dream to coach internationally and to have the opportunity to work with a top world ranked team and your home country is an absolute privilege,” Purvis said.

“I hope I can support the Hockeyroos to achieve medal success.

“I also hope to bring my learnings back to the SASI daily training environment.

“Any time spent at a major international event can be energising for attention to detail in technical skills and tactical way of play, which will be brought back to SASI and benefit the athletes here.”

SASI Director Wes Battams said for staff members to get the call up to national sporting organisations was a credit to the exceptional work carried out by his team and it was fantastic that this could take place through a unique working arrangement.

“Giving staff the opportunity to work with other organisations so they can provide their expertise and also broaden their knowledge is something which is a huge benefit to all parties involved,” Battams said.

“Sian, Tim, Jamie, Brett and Hugh are among the best in the business in the high-performance world and the work that they will do in these additional roles will be a significant contributing factor to Australia’s medal chances at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and World Championships.

“It’s also fantastic that our staff will be able to pick up new skills at a national level and further contributes to SASI being at the heart of South Australia’s sporting success.”

In other recruitment news, a further two SASI coaches have been appointed to national roles in a full-time capacity.

It is with both excitement and a tinge of sadness that we bid farewell to Jason Lane who leaves us to join Rowing Australia as the Pathways Head Coach and Laurence Fletcher who has commenced as an Assistant Coach for Paddle Australia.

We wish them all the best and can’t wait to see what they achieve next!