Swimming Australia is delighted to announce Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western), Jess Hansen (Nunawading), Alex Graham (Bond) and sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell (Knox/Pymble), have been appointed to the Australian Dolphins’ leadership team for 2019/2020.
Consisting of multiple Olympians and world record holders, as well as two early-career athletes, the leadership group comprises of a balanced mix of experience and early-career athletes.
After making his first Olympic team in London 2012, Larkin, who remains on the leadership team for a second tenure, went on to break the 200m Backstroke Short Course world record in 2015 and then claim a silver and bronze medal at the 2016 Rio games. Fellow world record holders and Olympic champions, Cate and Bronte Campbell, have shared a plethora of success in the pool, with three Olympic gold medals between them – including the 4 x 100m Relay crown in 2016.
Newcomers Hansen and Graham have also made an impact representing their country, with Hansen recently picking up a bronze medal at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championship
in China and Graham claiming gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Men’s 4 x 200m Relay.
The three-step process involved athletes nominating themselves for leadership roles, followed by an online vote from their peers. The successful applicants then had an interview with Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell and High Performance Chief Strategist Alex Baumann, which finalised the process.
After being appointed in 2017 as the para representatives, Paralympians Ellie Cole, Matt Levy, Monique Murphy and Blake Cochrane will continue their responsibilities alongside the new-look Olympic leadership group.
Russell congratulated the new leaders and highlighted Swimming Australia was committed to supporting the athletes to become champions both in and out of the pool.
“I’d like to congratulate Mitch, Cate, Bronte, Jess and Alex on their election to the leadership group, as well as Ellie, Matt, Blake and Monique, who will continue in their leadership roles as the team prepares for the Paralympics in 2020,” Russell said.
“It was evident in the discussions that Alex and I had, that we have a really impressive group of young people who want to represent Australia with pride, and we’re fortunate they’re so passionate about our sport and genuinely want to make a difference out of the pool too.
“This is an opportunity, not only to help shape the performance of our team in and out of the pool, but also to develop these young athletes’ leadership capabilities, to aid them and others to achieve success.
“They’ll benefit from working alongside some of swimming’s past leadership mentors, as well as undertaking other leadership development opportunities over the coming two years.
“Most importantly, this group of athletes will represent the wider Australian Dolphins’ team in discussing challenges and opportunities, while maintaining a strong connection and open communication with Swimming Australia’s organisational leaders.”
Bronte Campbell said she was excited about being involved in the leadership group for a second time.
“I feel privileged to be a part of this leadership group again and I am really excited about what we can achieve as a collective team working with Swimming Australia.
“Leadership is something I am very passionate about, so to be able to represent my peers both on and off the team for the next two years – especially as we work towards Tokyo 2020 – is something I am very proud of.”
Reiterating Campbell’s sentiment’s, Hansen said she was thrilled to be a part of a leadership group which was voted on by her peers.
“I feel honoured to have been chosen to represent my teammates as part of the Dolphins’ leadership group,” Hansen said.
“This leadership program has been designed to help us grow in these roles and I’m really looking forward to developing my leadership skills with a leadership mentor – it will be an incredibly valuable experience.
“Alex and I are both early-career athletes, so I think we’ll bring a different perspective to the group which will complement the experience of Mitch, Cate and Bronte.”
With the leadership group now finalised, Levy said he was eager for the team to come together as Tokyo 2020 draws closer.
“I’m really looking forward to working together as a collective to promote and instil the values we’ve developed within the Dolphins swim team leading in Tokyo 2020.”