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Australian Sports Technologies Network leadership change sees founding Chair James Demetriou step aside

Australian Sports Technologies Network leadership change sees founding Chair James Demetriou step aside
September 5, 2022

After more than a decade of championing Australia’s sports technology industry, the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) has announced that founding Chair James Demetriou is to step down from the role.

Among several changes to its executive leadership team, Demetriou will take on the role of ASTN’s Executive Director of Commercialisation and Partnerships for the next three years, with current Board Member Dr Martin Schlegel stepping into the role of Chair while Jasmine Lim becomes Deputy Chair.

Over the past 40 years, Demetriou has played a major role in Australian sport and is a respected leader in sports business, sports governance and sports technology. Demetriou was a senior player at the Essendon Football Club (1975 to 1976), a Board Director of Essendon Football Club in the mid to late 90s and the founding Chair of Sports Without Borders (2006 to 2016).

Established in Geelong in 2012, ASTN was created to play a leadership role in the development of Australian-inspired sports technologies. Demetriou predicted the emergence of an important industry, and ASTN became one of the first  co-ordinated sports tech ‘eco-systems’ or ‘super-cluster’ initiatives globally.

A decade on and ASTN is at the centre of Australia’s booming sports tech industry which has grown by more than 170% to almost $3.1 billion revenue annually.

Recalling that prior to the creation of ASTN he was shocked to learn about the lack of support and recognition of Australia’s great sports technologists, sports scientists, academics and entrepreneurs,

Demetriou advised “those early pioneering companies Catapult, Champion Data and Fusion sports were not being recognised and I knew that had to change, especially if Australia was to continue to be a global leader in sport.

“(Martin) has proved he has the right skills and capabilities to drive local sports tech success, and help steer ASTN through its next phase of growth. Jasmine Lim is another great asset for ASTN with her experience with major events, stakeholder engagement, and her passion for advocating for women in sports tech.”

Dr Schlegel has been with ASTN for nearly seven years and has over 25 years’ experience in the sports and recreation industry with a focus on start-up mentoring, sports management, product development, process engineering, commercialisation, open innovation as well as research and development.

Dr Schlegel has been the Program Lead for ASTN’s Australian Sports Innovation Centre of Excellence (ASICE) helping to embed new and existing programs into the centre.

Taking on his new role, Dr Schlegel commented “I’m honoured to take the role of Chair, helping to grow what James Demetriou started and continue his legacy. Demetriou has made a significant impact to Australia’s sports tech sector, and we are grateful for his dedication to ASTN over the past 10 years

“Australia’s sports tech industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years but we’re only just getting started as we expand our national footprint. ASTN will continue to work closely with governments, companies and industry groups to strengthen the reach, international standing and reputation of the Australian sports tech startup ecosystem,” said Schlegel.

Jasmine Lim has been a Board Member for over a year and in her new role she brings with her over 20 years of experience in business strategy, government and tourism experience with senior roles at Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Convention Bureau and Singapore Tourism Board.

She added "I’m looking forward to working with Schlegel and the rest of ASTN’s executive team to provide leadership in the commercialisation, development and promotion of Australian inspired sports technologies.

“I am also looking to encourage more women to join the industry and take up leadership roles in a space that is growing exponentially.”

Click here for more information on ASTN, the leading industry body for sports technology and innovation.

Images: New ASTN Chair Dr Martin Schlegel [at left] with ASTN founding Chair James Demetriou (top) and Dr Martin Schlegel (below), Credit: ASTN.

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