Triathlon Australia’s Chief Executive Officer of five years, Anne Gripper will be leaving the role in mid-September this year.
Over the last five years under Anne’s leadership, triathlon in Australia has grown and flourished. Annual membership has increased from just over 9,000 in 2010 to its current historical high of 21,500 members.
Individual triathlon entries have grown from 125,000 in 2011 to 184,000 last year, and 180 local triathlon clubs provide a strong community focus for members. This year, the sport offered an all-time high of over 650 sanctioned triathlon events around Australia.
In collaboration with a supportive and skills based Board, the sport now has a robust governance structure and strong financial stability. During her time at the helm of the sport, Anne has focussed on working collaboratively with the eight State and Territory Triathlon Associations to ensure triathlon leads the way towards establishing a unified model for sport.
Amongst other things, Triathlon has implemented a single membership system for all entities within the sport, a whole of sport budget and funding model, and integrated IT systems across the sport. “Together we have demonstrated the value of “whole of sport” thinking and behaviours,” said Gripper. “One of the things of which I am proudest is being able to build up a professional team who are all better at what they do than I am.
“I have had the great opportunity to work with two supportive and skilled Presidents in Peter Hedge and David Ferrier, and to observe (and hopefully support) them in their roles as leaders of a competency-based Board.
“The role of CEO of Triathlon Australia has been the best job in Australia for me over the last period of my career. “To have a leadership role in a sport about which I am passionate, and which has enabled me to influence the positive effect that sport can have on the health and wellbeing of our community – well it doesn’t get much better than that.
“I work well in five year stints. I feel that I have done what I can and that the time is right for me to do something different. “I also strongly believe that sport continually needs to seek new ideas and perspectives in order to remain vibrant and relevant to the communities we serve.
“Now is a great time for someone new, with different skills and experience to lead the sport over the next period of our development.” Having worked in sport for over 20 years, Anne intends to take a year off to spend more time with a philanthropic foundation, which she leads, and to enjoy some cycling adventures.
Her plan is to recommence working in sport sometime after the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
On behalf of all in the Triathlon Australian community we wish Anne all the very best and thank her for being the driving force she has been for our sport over the past five years. We’re sure she will not be lost to triathlon and her smiling face will bob up on a start line in the not too distant future.