Exclusive: The Role Of USC’s High Performance In The 2032 Olympics
ollowing the announcement of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games hosting rights being awarded to Brisbane, and by extension, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, Ministry of Sport spoke to University of Sunshine Coast (USC) head of physical performance in high performance sport, Dr Mark McKean.
On the way high performance sport will evolve across South-East Queensland in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics, Dr McKean said the region will become a common host of many more major international sporting events.
“It’s massively going to change the current sporting landscape across South-East Queensland,” Dr McKean said.
“The increased investment in facilities and infrastructure alone will change the way places like the Sunshine Coast are utilised going forward.
“It’s going to attract more international standard events as well as more international teams.
“USC already has a very good profile within the Olympics sports.
“When the Commonwealth Games were held (on the Gold Coast in 2018) we had a number of major international teams base themselves at USC and utilise our facilities prior to the Comm Games in their lead-in training camps and a number of current national programs do that leading into international events.
“From that perspective, the USC alone as a high performance facility will be utilised extensively.
“There will be changes in the facility between now and 2032 that will increase that exposure.
“It’s going to completely change the way South-East Queensland and even the Sunshine Coast is viewed as a sporting destination for a long time,” he said.
Discussing USC’s Olympic swimming program and its success in delivering Olympians for the London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dr McKean said the combination of research and high performance sport at USC is uniquely balanced.
“We’re one of the unique swim programs in Australia because we have two full-time coaches and two full-time programs, one in Para swimming and one in able-body swimming,” Dr McKean said.
“There’s very few others that have the same structure we have in two full programs.
“Across both programs we have over 20 elite swimmers and seven current Olympians for Tokyo.
“We’ve got a pretty good strike-rate where we’ve been successful for a very long time.
“We’ve had six, seven and nine Paralympic swimmers from our programs go to the Paralympics in the last three editions.
“The way things will work going forward, USC will continue to develop that we’re one of the few locations where research and high performance sport go hand in hand.
“We have a number of PhD students that work to conduct their sports science research while servicing the high performance sport programs and our athletes.
“Swimming at USC has a very strong history and going forward that will only get better because of our climate, facilities, that connection between sports science and research, and the profile we’ve gained through the success over the last three or four Olympics,” he told Ministry of Sport.