A2 PE - Chapter 5

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Elite Athlete Support


Elite Coaches and Facilities

Sports Science (Psychologists, Physio, Biomechanics)


Ergogenic Aids and Equipment

Funding and Technology

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Route To Excellence

-          The traditional route to excellence is through schools and then into club sport

-          US model is through university scholarship to enable athletes to train and get an education

German/Eastern Bloc model was through early Talent ID and was the first to develop the idea of centralised elite programmes such as institutes etc…

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Models For Elite Development

Centralised – Government funded programmes (East Germany, China)

Decentralised – Autonomous self-funded programmes (UK)

Adapted/Compromise – Mix of the above two (Australia)

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Reasons For Models

-Failure at a global game (Olympic failure) leads to a total review of the sports system (Australia at Montreal 1976 Games)

-Comparative review – looking at other countries systems and how they have been successful, if you can’t beat them join them, most countries have adopted and copied the East German model due to its success.

-Systems allow for short term results, allows for control of athletes

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Australian Example

-          Centres of excellence bring together the best coaches and athletes

-          Provide state of the art facilities

-          Allow time for training focus, no worries over accommodation and funding

-          State and federal government support

-          Full country coverage through the HQ in Canberra and satellite institutes in the major cities

-          Focus on Sports Science with Talent ID

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East German Sports Model

Talent ID programme put in place with rigorous testing of primary children

Coaches, sport specialists and medical staff monitored attainment with potential talent attending child and youth sport schools

Testing was based around Olympic disciplines and allowed athletes to train full time without risking their amateur status for Olympic competition

After these schools the athletes moved on to National Institutes of Sport where state of the art facilities and world class coaches were based to help in the final preparation of the athletes before the Olympics

However, the whole programme was littered with drug scandals, with almost every olympic athlete from the GDR being doped before hand in order to win at all costs. The true extent of this scandal wasnt realised until the fall of the Berlin wall, ruining the dreams and hopes of hundreds of athletes who probaby deserved the gold but lost to the East Germans

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