Congratulations to Past Commodore and Life Member, Matt Allen AM, who has been elected Vice President of the Australian Olympic Committee.
Matt, who joined the Australian Olympic Committee Executive Board in 2017, was elected to the new role alongside Evelyn Halls – the pair succeeding Helen Brownlee AM and Ian Chesterman.
Chesterman becomes the seventh AOC President, succeeding John Coates, who stepped down after 32 years.
Matt competed in his 31st Sydney Hobart in 2021, winning a historic third Tattersall Cup with his Botin 52 Ichi Ban (a fourth overall win personally).
“It’s very important for sailing to be represented strongly on the Australian Olympic Committee,” Matt said.
“We’re one of the strongest countries in sailing and we have worked to make sure our influence at the national Olympic Committee level and international federation level continues.
“I would argue that we now have the strongest representation that sailing has ever had, especially when you include some of the other Australians in senior positions on various committees.”
With just two years until Paris 2024 and preparations ramping up for Australia’s next home Games at Brisbane 2032, Matt believes the Australian Olympic Committee is making plenty of positive strides.
“Brisbane 2032 is starting to gather momentum now that the Organising Committee has been formed,” he said.
“The strengthening of Olympic sports is critical to Australia’s future in sport generally, particularly the mental and social health benefits that being active in sport and being active in a club means for Australians across many sports.
“There is enormous work ahead to assist smaller to mid-size sports [ahead of Brisbane 2032], helping them run their sports, improve pathways and improve performance with a 10-year horizon.
“We have huge opportunities with some of the changes that were led by Australia in terms of different events and formats at Olympic Games, which we will see in Paris.
“Sailing isn’t the easiest sport from a spectator perspective, but new events will have a huge impact on the appeal of sailing, to get more people into the spectator element of the sport.”