Australian Institute Of Sport Announces Sports Draft Program To Find Young Talents
The Australian Institute of Sport "announced its Sports Draft program -- a talent identification initiative that sounded like its origins lay in communist Russia," according to David Polkinghorne of the CANBERRA TIMES. Australia "has never won" an Olympic Gold Medal in boxing or judo. This is something the AIS "will target as part of Australia's Winning Edge program." Trials for boxing and judo "will be held in eight locations across Australia over the next two months and the best athletes will be offered training for 12 months." Testing "will not only focus on finding athletes whose bodies suit boxing or judo, but then psychological testing will see whether they have the drive required to succeed at the Olympic level." Senior physiologist David Martin said, "'We've been testing AFL [draft combines] for 15 years and we've been commissioned to do … the beep tests, and come up with the physical challenges. As we look at these guys we've thought, 'Wow, some of these guys could be good in a number of sports.'" Martin said that "the AIS has been working closely with the defence forces, who use psychological testing to find people suitable for their elite forces" (CANBERRA TIMES, 10/2).