It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, ooh
And I’m feeling good…
Perhaps the words of Nina Simone in Feeling Good is a way to start the new year? In some respects, 2022 marks a fresh start for me as I am embarking on a new challenge. From now on I will focus on managing the project of #elitesports2030. This is a new sports-overarching elite sports programme designed to turn around a negative trend for Swedish high performance sport. It is a joint initiative from the Swedish Sports Confederation, The Swedish National Olympic Committee, the Swedish Parasport Federation and the Swedish National Paralympic Committee.
Of course this project is not a million miles away from the directing of the high performance programme that I have done to date. The difference though is that this new assignment focuses more on what we (currently) have not got, rather than on making use of what we have. Money that is. Financials. Resources.
Without spoiling, some new research from the SPLISS-consortium will be published in January. The researchers behind the study that identified the nine pillars leading to olympic medal success have reinvestigated the first pillar, finances, and reviewed the participating countries in the study ahead of Tokyo 2020 (which in the end became 2021). Sweden was not part of the original study in 2008 but we are included in the review. And it comes timely. The data shows that Sweden places dead last of the 14 countries in the study. Behind Finland and Flanders, which is not even a country but a part of Belgium that, because of the political structure of the Belgian state, has it’s own sports policy. If your job is to support Swedish elite sports, that is not great.
Looking out in the world it is not like other countries are standing still. I have previously written about the UK where the government is continuing it’s strong support to UK Sport, and just before Christmas, news came from New Zealand about substantial investments in high performance sports. 810 million Swedish kronor (90 million USD) is forwarded by the government to High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and it is easy to be jealous.
However, there is no reason to start a new year in jealousy. Control the controllable is usually good advice and hence, work is just about to start!