Research to Help Australia Win More Gold

Article excerpt

IDENTIFYING potential elite athletes by measuring their family support, access to facilities and psychological factors could be the key to improving Australia's Olympic gold medal tally.

Griffith University, with partners Australian Sports Commission, Australian Institute of Sport, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and the Australian Football League, will lead research into this area with a $300,000 grant from the Australian Research Council which was announced this week.

Previously, only an athlete's physical capabilities were assessed, but other factors need to be considered so Australia can stay ahead of the game, lead researcher Griffith University's Professor Kristine Toohey said.

"In the past, talent identification has concentrated on biophysical measures and other countries have copied our techniques," Professor Toohey explained.

"Our study is looking at other factors that have shown success in sport, such as family support, recruiters' perception of talent, other environmental factors and access to facilities among other things," she said.

"For Australia to regain its international sports ascendency, it is essential to again lead innovations in talent identification. …