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Leigh Russell Steps Down As Swimming Australia’s Chief Executive

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wimming Australia announced chief executive, Leigh Russell, will be stepping down at the end of November 2020.

Deputy board chairperson, Tracy Stockwell, said Russell had served for the past three years as an effective leader.

“Under Leigh’s leadership, we have built a strong executive and a high-performance team,” Stockwell said.

“There is also a clear strategy and vision.

“As Australia’s number one Olympic sport, we are well placed going into a disrupted but highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics in 2021 and then on to the 2024 Games.

“The Board and Leigh agreed that the revised timing of the Tokyo Games means that now is the right time to find a new CEO with the passion and drive to lead the sport into the future.

“Leigh’s leadership and commitment to high-performance and integrity has driven major changes in the organisation and has set Swimming Australia up for success both in the pool and out of it.

“As one of the few female sports leaders in the country, Leigh has championed inclusion and a culture of high-performance, support, mentorship, and leadership that is underpinned by strong values.

“We wish Leigh all the very best and thank her for her significant contribution to our sport,” she said.

Russell said: “with the revised timelines pushing Tokyo out by a year, meaning an immediate kick-off post Games to preparations for Paris, I felt it was in the best interests of the organisation and the sport to allow a new CEO to take the reins now.”

“I’m proud of what has been achieved over the past three years and I feel Swimming Australia is now in the strongest position it can be going into Tokyo and Paris,” she said.

Swimming Australia will soon commence the search for a new chief executive, and will be appointing an interim CEO while the search begins, in hopes the role can be filled before preparations ramp up for the Tokyo Olympic Games.