Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer Michael Scott has today announced Bernard Savage as the Performance Director, who will lead all aspects of rowing’s Olympic and Paralympic programs, as well as the appointment of Jaime Fernandez as Deputy Performance Director.
Currently the National Performance Director of Triathlon Australia and former Head of Sports Science at Swimming Australia, Savage brings strong leadership experience to the role, as well as a broad and deep understanding of Australia’s high performance systems.
Fernandez moves into an expanded role that will create a leaner and more efficient high performance structure by leading rowing’s pathway and talent ID programs and providing support to Savage across the entire High Performance program. Fernandez, who is also an Olympic Silver Medallist in rowing, brings an extensive and rich understanding of the sport.
Scott said both Savage and Fernandez were the standout candidates and will combine well to provide program and system leadership experience and high performance rowing knowledge required to successfully deliver RA’s new High Performance Plan, CampaignNumberOne.
“We’ve gone through an extensive process to find the right people to lead the high performance component of our business and we know Bernard and Jaime have the right mix of skills and experience to create an environment that delivers world-best high performance outcomes”.
“Bernard has had outstanding success with Triathlon Australia over the last four years, including leading a restructure and rebuild of their program. This, combined with over 20 years-experience working across all layers of the Australian high performance sporting system, will be of huge benefit to Rowing Australia as we implement our CampaignNumberOne plan,” said Scott.
Savage said he was looking forward to the challenge of working with one of Australia’s leading Olympic and Paralympic sports.
“Rowing has such a proud history of success and I am greatly looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of leading the performance area towards Tokyo and beyond,” said Savage.
“In moving through this process I have been impressed with the work that has been already completed as part of CampaignNumberOne to set up rowing for the next quadrennial and beyond.”
“I’m looking forward to leading this exciting change process collaboratively with all of our key stakeholders. It is an exciting opportunity as we all work together to become the world’s leading rowing nation again,” stated Savage.
For Fernandez, who has been a key member of the Rowing Australia leadership team since 2012, the opportunity to be part of this change is something he was keen to be part of.
“I have a great passion for rowing and know that Australia has the athletes, coaches and expertise to drive huge success on the water,” said Fernandez.
“As a sport we are going through a significant period of change which is necessary to ensure we can reach our goal of being number one in the world. I’m sure everyone is aware of the challenge ahead, and I’m just looking forward to assisting the athletes and coaches wherever I can so we can deliver on our vision.”
Both appointments are non-coaching roles. Rowing Australia is finalising the recruitment process for the technical leadership positions of Head Women’s and Head Men’s Coaches and hopes to announce these appointments soon.
Rowing Australia launched CampaignNumberOne prior to the Rio Olympic Games, putting the sport ahead of the game from a planning perspective leading into Tokyo. The new High Performance Plan includes the centralisation of its high performance programs as well as the development of a bespoke state based pathways program that develop a pipeline of talent into the high performance centres.