Australia’s aspiring gymnasts will have increased support and opportunities to explore elite pathways in gymnastics and other sports thanks to a new program funded by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and embedded within Gymnastics Australia.
Project Phoenix is a national partnership between the AIS, Gymnastics Australia, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) and Diving Australia that gives gymnasts the chance to transition their talents both within gymnastics and to other sports including diving, aerial skiing, pole vault or sport climbing.
To ensure athletes are given appropriate support in making these complex decisions successfully, Gymnastics Australia has appointed Regan Molyneaux as the inaugural Talent Transfer and Transition Coordinator, funded by the AIS.
Much of Australia’s success in sports such as aerial skiing and diving have come from athletes who had their origins in gymnastics. Commonwealth Games gold medallist diver Matt Mitcham and Winter Olympians aerial skiers Lydia Lassila and Alisa Camplin are just a few who began in gymnastics.
Gymnastics Australia CEO Kitty Chiller said Project Phoenix would complement the pathway programs already in place for aspiring gymnasts.
“Gymnastics Australia will maintain a strong focus on our athlete pathway programs because we want to continue the pipeline of gymnasts representing our sport at Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championships,” Chiller said.
“We can also be proud that gymnastics provides a fundamental platform that helps athletes transition to other sports because of the physical and mental strength it brings. Gymnasts who choose to transfer may have hit a performance ceiling, might be looking for a new challenge or may just be better suited to achieving success in another sport.
“This transition process can be complex for both athletes, their families and the coaches involved, so Regan’s role as Talent Transfer and Transition Coordinator will provide a dedicated support framework around the process.”
AIS Director of Sport Strategy and Investment Alex Newton said: “Project Phoenix is about giving athletes options, but most importantly it’s about giving them the appropriate guidance and support to navigate that complex transition if they choose.”