New facility to be built for South Australia’s high performance athletes

In a first during its 39-year history, the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) will finally have a headquarters to call home. A purpose-built facility will identify, develop and support high performance athletes and programs.

The new facility is included in the State Budget 2021-22, where $49 million will go towards its construction, to be located at Mile End next to the existing Netball SA Stadium.

Premier Steven Marshall explains that the new facility is part of a record $17.9 billion infrastructure spend spanning the next four years and will open up approximately 200 jobs throughout the development.

“This Budget builds on the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong economic recovery plan, to create more jobs, expand health services and deliver record investment in education and infrastructure,” Premier Marshall said.

“This landmark Budget is helping secure SA’s growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work and raise a family and this significant investment continues to position our great state as a premiere sporting destination.”

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard believes the introduction of SASI HQ will provide high-performance athletes access to new state-of-the-art training facilities and leading-edge integrated technologies to reach greater heights.

“SASI was Australia’s first state-based sports institute but has never had its own purpose-designed facility that is fit-for-purpose and for the past 21 years has operated out of the old Kidman Park High School,” Minister Wingard said.

“Despite that, South Australia has developed and produced some of the best athletes in the world and this investment will help build on that legacy.

“It will also help SASI to achieve its target of contributing at least 10% of Australia’s team medals at both the Olympics and Paralympics.

“This investment will also give our state greater opportunities to grow our economy by attracting national and international training camps and elite programs.”

The new SASI will feature the following:

  • Strength and conditioning gym capable of accommodating multiple sports and teams
  • Specially designed indoor court with smart technology
  • Sport specific ergometer training zones
  • Indoor bounding areas
  • Environment chamber for simulated heat, humidity and altitude stress training

Planning for the new facility will begin immediately, with construction hoped to start in 2022 and expected to be complete in mid-2023.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Global Institute of Sport and former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor launch ‘study and play’ academy in Dubai

Global Institute of Sport (GIS) has announced an expansion into the Middle East by partnering with leading football performance specialists The Player, co-founded by former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.

Aspiring footballers from across the globe can now study a GIS university degree and immerse themselves in an elite football environment with the stunning surroundings of Dubai.

The new ‘Study & Play: Dubai’ initiative provides footballers of all levels with an unprecedented opportunity to train and play in state-of-the-art facilities under the guidance of UEFA A licenced coaches. Alongside their football, students studying a specialist GIS online sports degree will receive local academic support, as well as be part of a global cohort of GIS students studying the same degree course.

Open to students from across the world to move to Dubai, successful applicants will be able to immerse themselves in the Middle East’s emerging football market, gain cutting-edge skills and apply for sports work placements that will shape their future both on and off the field.

The Player Co-Founder and former Newcastle United player Steven Taylor commented:

“This partnership with GIS offers a fantastic opportunity for young athletes. Education is one of our four main focuses at The Player, and we’re able to offer high level performance training alongside this education.”

Fellow The Player Co-Founder and UEFA A licenced coach Sam White added:

“We’re really proud to be introducing this partnership with Global Institute of Sport, and being able to offer young professionals and talented young athletes the opportunity to study a degree and play or work within the world of football in Dubai at the same time.”

GIS President and CEO Sharona Friedman stated:

“GIS was founded with the intention of bringing the best learning and education from the world of sport together so that students are able to graduate with a holistic understanding of best practice from around the globe.

“We are delighted to partner with The Player to provide an additional immersive opportunity for students to study and train in an elite football environment, whilst also bringing our education model to a new region, which will be at the forefront of sports business and performance for the decades to come.”

The GIS degrees available to study as part of this opportunity are:

All programmes are delivered entirely online with the exception of MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, which is largely online plus two residential weeks in either London, Miami or Melbourne.

For more information on Study & Play: Dubai, you can visit the link here: www.GIS.sport/dubai.

FIFA implement measures to protect female players and coaches

FIFA has announced several amendments to the current Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). These changes have been approved by the FIFA Council by May 2024 and have been brought into effect from June 1.

These changes are majorly focused on women and the impact that menstruation and pregnancy have on their careers.

A meeting of key stakeholders and FIFA members resulted in these new regulations advancing the women’s game.

These include:

  • FIFA female players and coaches can now receive a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • A minimum of 8 weeks of paid absence for female coaches and players who adopt a child under the age of 2.
  • Also, a minimum of 8 weeks paid absence from the birth of the child if they are not the biological mother (for example same-sex parenthood).
  • Players are entitled to full remuneration if they are absent from training or games due to menstruation or pregnancy health reasons.
  • There is increased support for female players in contacting families during national team contexts to ease pressure on children and mothers.

FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero has commented on the recent changes:

“FIFA is committed to implementing a dynamic regulatory framework that is sound and suitable for the increasing needs of female players and coaches,” he said via media release.

“In order for the game to further flourish, it’s key that we have a holistic approach towards player well-being, including the legal aspects.”

This is a huge advancement in the game’s equality mission as FIFA has recognised and actively planned to ease the physical, psychological and social dimensions of pregnancy and menstruation for women athletes.

These regulations fit Goal 2 in FIFA’s Strategic Objectives for the Global Game: 2023-2027, which describe the organisation’s commitment to exploring and implementing further safeguards for player and coach welfare.

FIFA Chief Football Women’s Officer Dame Sarai Bareman outlined the importance of placing women’s physical health in the legal and mainstream dialogue of the sport.

“When you’re playing sport for a living, and in a professional environment, we have to factor in that the female menstrual cycle can also impact on your ability to deliver within your role,” she added via media release.

“So, it’s important that we protect … those that are affected by their menstrual cycles in a way that it doesn’t put at risk their employment situation with their club and, ultimately, their ability to earn money.”

This announcement shows the players are becoming the major stakeholders in laws and regulations around their welfare.

This is an important strategy for the equality of the game by making sure that women’s sporting careers are not put on hold or impacted by their natural body function or raising a child.

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