AusCycling appoints four new members of performance senior management team


AusCycling can announce today that three new staff appointments and internal promotion of one of Australian cycling’s most respected voices will join the performance senior management team within the Australian Cycling Team.

The appointments of Dr Scott Gardner as Head Coach of Acceleration and Action, and Gene Bates as Head Coach of Endurance mark a coming home affair for the pair, who both started their careers in the Australian Cycling Team program.

Gardner will lead AusCycling’s Acceleration and Action pillar, which includes BMX, BMX Freestyle and Track Sprint.

The highly credentialed sports scientist has held several pivotal roles in some of the most successful cycling programs of the past two decades, working with Australian legends Anna Meares, Ryan Bayley, Shane Kelly, and Sam Willoughby.

Gardner’s career abroad in Great Britain and Malaysia has seen him successfully aid the careers of Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, and Azizulhasni Awang.

The Tasmanian also boasts an impressive track record in coach and executive education and program leadership.

“I am hugely excited to be back home in Australia in this new role for AusCycling,” Gardner said.

“I started my international career here and feel very grateful for the support and mentoring that I received back then.

“I hope that in coming years I can give some of that back while helping to develop confidence and belief within the Australian Cycling Team.”

Heading the endurance disciplines, Bates will be the point for track endurance, road and mountain bike for both AusCycling’s able-bodied and para components as the program continues to advance its integration.

Bates has previously worked at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS), and various roles at Australian UCI WorldTour team GreenEDGE Cycling (currently named Team BikeExchange-Jayco).

“I am so pleased to have this opportunity to work with AusCycling in this new role as Head Coach – Endurance,” Bates said.

“For a long time, I have thought about returning to work with Australian athletes and looking at the current state and future of cycling as a whole in Australia, we can only be motivated by the potential.

“We have a new era of cycling arriving, and I am very excited to be a part of that.

“I started my coaching career in Australia, and I'm very happy to be going back to share some of my experience and learn from our staff and athlete group.”

Donna Rae-Szalinski's work as the Interim Director of Pathways in the last several months has yielded remarkable results and AusCycling is thrilled to internally promote Rae-Szalinski to the Director of Pathways role.

Rae-Szalinski will continue overseeing the execution of the pathway strategy inclusive of domestic and international camps and competitions in the under-19 and under-23 categories, as well as talent identification and development of both athletes and coaches.

This also includes stakeholder relationships with state and territory institutes and the AIS, and working very closely with the head coaches, which has a strong influence on our sustained success.

Rae-Szalinski brings a wealth of experience, network and system knowledge to the role, having worked across road, track and mountain biking in state institute, national and professional cycling team settings.

“I am excited and honoured to be entrusted as lead of the AusCycling Performance Pathway,” Rae-Szalinski said.

“An aligned and strategic pathway of athletes and coaches is a vital component in the development and ongoing delivery of athletes and coaches capable of achieving podium performances moving towards 2032 and beyond.”

Paul Collins joins AusCycling as Director of Engineering Excellence, having worked as an associate professor in design and product development at Deakin University.

Collins has extensive expertise and has done copious innovation projects together with the AIS, lululemon, Quiksilver, Ford, and the World Solar Car project.

Aside from his tenure at Deakin University, Paul serves on advisory and governance boards domestically and at international technology organisations.

Collins will lead a new functional area in engineering excellence which holds our equipment and data-facing activities and roles.

Considering the role and the opportunities in this area, Collins said he is “looking forward to bringing the craft, science and innovation of engineering to AusCycling as we strive towards continued growth and success.”

Executive General Manager – Performance Jesse Korf said he was excited to share news of the appointments.

“I am very excited to have Scott join the team and welcome him back home,” Korf said.

“Gene is no stranger to most and brings broad experience from both the national team and professional domains.

“A critical mix for us going forward as we aim to help athletes to independent careers and bring back our best for major competitions.

“Having played the role of interim director, Donna has shown outstanding ability and I am proud to have her step in the permanent role.”

The quartet of fresh staff appointments will start on various timelines ranging between immediate and the end of August.

They will join Korf, Director of Operations Paul Brosnan and the yet to be appointed Director of Health, Wellbeing and Performance Services to round out the new performance senior management team.

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