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Hockey Australia Chief Executive commits to act on review into ‘toxic’ culture
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Matt Favier has committed to "take the necessary action" once an independent inquiry into allegations of bullying and body-shaming within women's hockey in Australia is completed.
An independent inquiry into allegations of a "toxic" culture within elite women's hockey in November amid claims that members of the Australian women's hockey squad were considering a strike, just months before the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In his first comments since the crisis was revealed, Favier vowed to act on any recommendations the report reveals in the new year.
However, in comments to Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph, he slammed reports of intimidation and stringing criticism aimed at controversial High-Performance Director Toni Cumpston among others on the elite coaching staff.
Favier advised “in all sports there are tensions from time to time between leaders and players.
“Toni is highly experienced and has a strong background in hockey. I think she provides excellent leadership in my opinion, but that’s not to say everybody will agree.”
On cmplaints of bullying, body-shaming, the development of serious eating disorders and unfair team selections
Favier claimed he was restricted by what he could say on individual complaints, but said Hockey Australia would "take the necessary action", adding “one of the challenges we are dealing with is having a high-performance conversation with the idea of supporting player development and seeking improvement while being careful not to confuse that with allegations of bullying levelled towards us.
“We have to also bear in mind we’re in an elite high-performance group. Sometimes, there can be some confusion along the way.
“There are fine lines we have to be careful to navigate. We’ve attempted to be very sensitive to this particular matter.
“It’s not to say we’ve got it right. The inquiry will uncover the details and the board is committed to acting on all the recommendations.
“We care about the players and the impact this is having on them. All players. The good and the bad. And we’ll take the necessary action once the report is complete.”
Favier added there was confusion about the complaints and the era they related to, with the staff surrounding the Australian women's hockey team only in place since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
He went on to say "I believe some of the comments made relate to previous cycles.
"We’ve taken significant steps since Rio where there was absolutely a range of concerning behaviour by the leadership and coaching team.
"We acted on the recommendations that came out of that review."
It was recently reported that Hockey Australia had been aware of concerns from members of their women's squad regarding the leadership of the team as far back as 2017.
Richard Redman, the Manager of the Australian Institute of Sport's conduct and professionalism team, is leading the inquiry with Adam Carrel, a partner at consultants Ernst & Young.
Findings and recommendations are reportedly expected by early February.
Australia booked a place at Tokyo 2020, postponed to next year because of the Coronavirus pandemic, through the Olympic qualifiers.
11th December 2020 - AIS maintains support for athlete development
10th December 2020 - Sport Australia launches new resources for community clubs
29th September 2020 - Expressions of interest sought for chairperson for Sport Australia
6th August 2020 - Sport Australia looks to sell off part of AIS’ Canberra campus
30th July 2020 - Hockey New Zealand announces that Chief Executive will step down
12th July 2019 - Inaugural board takes control of Hockey’s new domestic league
11th December 2018 - Polytan transforms Kalinga Stadium India for 2018 Mens Hockey World Cup
29th June 2018 - Hockey Australia reveal Perth as fourth venue for FIH Pro League
12th October 2017 - FIH releases new hockey lighting standards
9th June 2017 - AIS Director Matt Favier moves to head Hockey Australia
1st January 2017 - ONTHEGO Sports announces five year partnership with Hockey Australia
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