The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced the appointment of highly-respected sports administrator Paul Kiteley as its new performance manager.
Working within the APC’s Paralympic performance division led by Kate McLoughlin, Kiteley will aim to drive the APC’s engagement and collaboration with national federations, state and territory institutes (SIS) and academies of sport (SAS) and other key partners.
This will be with a view to further enhancing all of Australia’s "Winning Edge" funded programmes, geared towards ensuring success at the next two Paralympic Games - Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 - and beyond.
Australia finished fifth in the medal table at Rio 2016, winning 22 golds, 30 silvers and 29 bronzes.
Kiteley joins the APC after a distinguished career at the Victorian Institute of Sport, spanning 21 years.
"I will bring a very strong emphasis on building partnerships and working closely with the national federations and the SIS/SAS network to ensure we are providing the best possible support for Para-sport," he said.
"To be able to step up into a national role and work with Para-athletes, coaches and experts across all areas of the Paralympic high-performance environment was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist.
"The Australian Paralympic team finished fifth in Rio which was a terrific achievement, but no one underestimates the huge challenge we face to achieve a similar result in Tokyo.
"We can’t shy away from the fact that we need to improve in all areas as the performance levels of our major rivals, across all of the sports, continue to increase.
"It’s an exciting challenge for the sports we partner with and a great opportunity for us all to work together to raise the bar."
Kiteley will be based at the APC’s Melbourne office and is due to begin work later this month.
"In addition to preparing, delivering and managing Australian teams at Paralympic Games, the APC’s Paralympic performance division uses a multi-disciplinary approach to develop and share specialist expertise of Paralympic sport to optimise the identification, preparation and performance of athletes across all Para-sports," McLoughlin said.
"Paul has been heavily involved with the APC and Paralympic sport through his previous role with the Victorian Institute of Sport and his involvement with the APC’s successful wheelchair rugby high-performance programme.
"Among a very high-calibre field of applicants, he was the candidate we believe is best placed to help us build on the success we achieved in Rio last year.
"We’re very excited to welcome Paul into the APC family and we’re equally excited to see what he can bring to our organisation and the athletes, coaches, staff, programmes and partners we support."