THE 2020 NAB AFL Women's competition will stop immediately and no premiership cup will be awarded.
The decision was made on Sunday after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced restrictions would be placed on travel.
"Today’s AFLW semi-final between Carlton and Brisbane Lions will be the last NAB AFL Women’s match to be played with the 2020 season ending today," McLachlan said.
"Given the twin conference structure and that the finals series was not completed, the AFL Commission has determined no premiership will be awarded for this season, following a recommendation from the AFL Executive."
McLachlan said the worsening situation and the decision by various State Governments to close their borders meant it was time for the AFL to immediately stop the AFL and AFLW competitions.
The AFL Executive discussed ways to potentially award a minor premiership of sorts, but ultimately accepted that not awarding a cup was the outcome that had to happen.
Major financial repercussions will be felt across both competitions, with discussions surrounding the next step for the League and clubs set to happen over the next 48 hours.
Four days until the Opening Ceremony of the 31st Summer Olympic Games.
Big news! I went for a walk today, all by myself!
Seems strange to even write that sentence, I am a grown woman and I learnt to walk a long time ago, I also claimed my independence many, many years ago.
The build up by the media to the Olympics in Rio - the first time in South America, has ensured that I arrived a few days ago scared out of my wits.
To be honest I am still in a heightened state of fear, but I am at the Olympics, it's three and a half weeks of flat out work and I can't always guarantee I can find a male co worker willing to escort me to get my lunch at the local store five minutes walk away to ensure my safety. Plus my shoulders are bigger than most of the male commentators anyway and I am not sure they would be of much use if push came to shove.
I made it to the shop, had a great chicken salad and walked back to continue working. At no time during this adventure did I feel unsafe, but we are in what seems to be a fairly safe neck of the woods. Don't worry I won't be galavanting too often by myself or at night (already got that lecture from my lovely husband back home).
I also had the pleasure of looking at the Triathlon course today in preparation to commentate the men's and women's Olympic races after the swimming competition concludes. The course is situated around Copacabana Beach. There was a wave on, that caught my attention more than the stories of the water pollution. Whilst I didn't stick my head in or take a mouthful, it looked pretty clear to me and to the locals who were taking advantage of the 29 degree day.
During my swimming career I competed in quite a few open water swims - I raced twice in fact in a 3.2km race in Melbourne's Yarra River - both times after storms. For those of you that don't know my home town's main river, they say, flows upside down because of it's dirty colour.
It tasted horrible. There was rubbish in the water, along with debris.
My dad made me drink castor oil before I raced both times to line my stomach (don't ask why!). My face was black with dirt when I finished, but I came out the other end just fine, apart from the runs from the castor oil!
I moved along to the Copa Lagoon, where the rowing will take place. Marker buoys lined the course in exact positioning, different race courses all marked out. The sun shone and the water glistened. It looked incredible. I have never seen an Olympic Rowing course with my own eyes, only on the telly, as the courses have always so far away from the main arena, that the Rowers were housed in a satellite village. Rio sees Rowing smack bang in the middle of the action with the giant "Christ the Redeemer" statute overlooking the proceedings along with the spectators that will line the banks of the Lagoon. No obvious signs of anything broken or garbage laying about in the water.
Brazilian people are proud and friendly. They are also hospitable.
Yes, the buses are late and sometimes they get a little lost and might not turn up at all!. The queues are long and it takes an age to get in to anywhere due to security and forever to get fed in the media dinning hall between 12 - 2pm.
But folks, its the Olympics! Get over it!
Every Olympics I have been to since 1988 has had some sort of controversy. Venues not ready, local political unrest, logistical issues. The media coverage of this is always before the start, and the Games go on, the athletes cope and the amazing moments of Olympic history take place.
Rio is going to be great once the competition starts. it's all here and ready to go. But until then, take it with a grain of salt - the world's sporting media are assembled in Rio and while the athletes are putting the finishing touches on their once in a lifetime moments, the media is out looking for stories, as there is not a lot happening.
So let's take the next few days to report on positive stories like that of Yusra Mardini, an 18 year old Syrian refugee that is part of the IOC's team.
In August 2015 she fled Syria under dire circumstances. She was a National Team swimmer for Syria before her life, as she knew it, fell apart. Her swimming background came in handy when the shoddy dinghy she and 17 others were on started to take on water somewhere between Greece and Turkey.
Yusra and her sister Sarah hopped in the water and swam the boat to shore over 3 1/2 hours, and after some time, made it to Germany. Eventually also a return to her beloved swimming happened, where she was spotted by an eagle eye coach from the local team in Berlin.
Next week, she will race in the 200m Freestyle in Rio and I can't wait to commentate on her race!
Yusra won't be a refugee forever - she will however, be an Olympian for ever.
LINLEY FRAME - WORLD CHAMPION…AGAIN.
Never ask a woman about her age; that is unless that woman is Linley Frame.
Linley's name has been synonymous with the sport of swimming for a very long time, since first bursting on to the scene way back in 1991, as a 21 year old winning the world title in the 100m breaststroke.
At 42 years young, Frame, a South Melbourne local, is continuing to dominate the world of swimming.
Her story though, isn't just about winning a swimming race.
It's one of resilience, strength of character and continuing to pursue her dreams, even when the odds are stacked against you.
A list of achievements that include the Olympics in 1992, Frame was forced into retirement at 25, after a battle with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The medical advice suggested she would never be able to race competitively again.
She forged ahead with life, finding other challenges, including motherhood and when her children were old enough, she slowly re-entered the pool for a little time to herself.
It was never really supposed to be a 'comeback', but as her times improved she started racing again in Masters swimming, a competition for swimmers over 18, for Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club.
Very quickly, she returned to her winning ways firstly in Victoria, then at the Australian Championships and finally, this week she again proved to be the best in the world for her age category.
At the FINA Masters World Swimming Championship in Montreal last week, Frame became a triple World Champion, winning the 50, 100m and 200m Breaststroke events for the 40-44 year age group.
"When I won the World Championships in 1991, I was young and each day was all about me. This time around I have a different perspective, juggling training with family life, my kids are 11 and 13, their activities and my work at Swimming Victoria. This win was so special."
Winning the world crowns in Montreal, adds to the world records she already holds, but more importantly, the wins also reaffirm to Linley, that you are never too old to achieve big things.
"Being here at the World Masters Championships confirms for me that it is really important to make time to do what you love and that you are never too old for dreams and ambition." she said after the wins.
The 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona have come to an end and all the signs of the rebuild of the Australian Swimming Team are positive, both in and out of the pool!
Personally it was tough not be involved in anyway other than by cheering from a far, after having been involved in every World Champs since 1991, either as an athlete or a broadcaster! Making it even harder was no television coverage in Australia ... hopefully the results I'm about to detail will remind our Australian Television Networks that the Australian Swimming team racing in an international meet is a worthwhile investment.
First and foremost it was a fast meet with several new World Records being set. Mostly from young girls!
The women's breaststroke records took a hammering with all distances rewritten by either 16 year old Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuanian or Yuliya Efimova, 21, from Russia, who between them now own the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke rights. The USA's Katie Ledecky, at just 16 years old, set two records - one in the non Olympic 1500m free event and the second in the 800m free to prove that last year's Olympic gold at the same distance was no fluke.
The Australian Swim team had some great moments and finished the medal tally with 3 Gold and 10 Silver medals, placing them 4th on the Barcelona medal tally. The USA won, with China and France filling the top 3.
However, if you look at just Olympic events, the Aussie team would be 2nd on the medal tally behind the USA. A big improvement from the 7th placing in London 2012.
Here's some of the best:
It was all kicked started by Christian Sprenger, who turned the tables on his Olympic conqueror, South African Cameron van der Burgh, winning the 100m breaststroke crown. Sprenger at 27, has been a part of our team for quite some time. A veteran of two Olympic campaigns, he had a taste of success on the biggest stage in 2012 and wanted more, so instead of taking time off like his opponents, he went racing on the World Cup circuit and then got stuck back into work with his Indooroopilly coach, Simon Cuscack. The hard work and sacrifices have certainly paid off!
What a meet for Coach Simon Cusack!
Our only female individual gold medalist was Cate Campbell, who has quite literally been in the wars! After debuting on the Australian Team as a 16 year old and winning Olympic bronze in Beijing in the 50m free, her career has been a roller coaster ride. Injury and illness have prevented her from achieving what most in the swimming world knew she was capable of. The frustration of the past 4 years would have ended the careers of most, but Cate never lost slight of what she wanted and continues to want....to show she is the fastest women in the world, in the water!
Not to be out done, James Magnussen defended his 100m free world crown. It's been a 12 month learning period for the sprint ace after missing gold at the Olympics by the smallest of margins. A year older and wiser after racing throughout Europe following the Australian trials, he seemed to be much more controlled in all aspects of his preparation this time around.
Alicia Coutts again showed she is the ironwoman of the Australian Team with a huge schedule of racing, walking away with 5 silver medals.
And of course, then there are our backstroke girls, Emily Seebohm and Belinda Hocking. Both came up against Missy Franklin from the USA, who set a new record for gold medals by a female at Worlds, surpassing Libby Lenton and Tracey Caulkins' 5, with 6 to her name by close of business.
Emily Seebohm has been such a consistent performer for Australia since debuting in 2007 as a 15 year old and has added a silver to her collection in the 100m back.
After moving to coach Rohan Taylor at the Nunawading Swim Club, Belinda "Bindy" Hocking has found her form again, coming home "balls out" (Bindy's words not mine, but they made me laugh!) to take 2nd in the 200m back, with the fastest last lap in the field excepting Missy Franklin.
There were also a number of encouraging performances;
Cameron McEvoy, who at his first World Champs not only made the 100m free final at 18 years of age but finished 4th, just hundreths off a medal. This was his first individual race at a major senior comp!
Jordan Harrsison, made the final of an event that as Australian's we hold close to our hearts - the 1500m free. Jordan finished 6th in a final dominated by his some time training partner, China's, Sun Yang.
Most pleasing though, were the reports of the grand stand being filled by Australian team members supporting each other and creating a team atmosphere that allowed for great racing!
Well done to all who were involved with our team, especially High Performance Director, Michael Scott. He's only been in the role since May and has already recreated an environment that's supportive and caring, where athletes and coaches know what is expected and they are encouraged and supported to perform to the best of their ability.
For many years now, I have wanted to create a web site for myself.
Finally, here it is!
I wanted to be able to show people what I do and what I have done throughout my career firstly, as a swimmer, then as a sports broadcaster.
I have been working as a sports broadcaster since getting my first break back in 1994 calling Surf lifesaving for Channel 9 - I can't believe it's now almost 20 years in this industry. There have been some amazing moments that I have had the privilege to commentate on - many of them are now a part of Australia's rich sporting history. Of course there has also been some that I have thought "did I really just say that?!".
I fulfilled a personal goal of broadcasting on the television coverage of an Olympic Games at London 2012, having covered them for Radio at the 2 previous games.
Although it wasn't on Australian TV, it did go right around the world as part of the IOC's world coverage. I worked as the specialist commentator and keeping the Australian theme, Bruce McAvaney was the main caller. What an exceptionally positive person he is - and what a caller! It certainly was a 'dream come true' type of experience!
This past year, I have become involved with the administration of both Swimming Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee. I am incredibly motivated to make a difference to the sporting environment that our athletes strive for success in. I remember all to well, how much effort it takes to be a "professional" athlete and in most cases, the professionalism is the work ethic not the pay!
I'll be posting regularly - updating you on all that is going on in my world, until then, stay safe!
Three women join AOC Board 4 April 201
AOC: Women will play a key role in the running of the Olympic Movement in Australia in the future following a massive shift in the gender balance on the Executive (Board) of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
Three female Olympians will join the AOC Board after next month’s Annual General Meeting, Kitty Chiller (modern pentathlon), Danielle Woodward (canoe-kayak) and
Nicole Livingstone (swimming).
They will join Helen Brownlee (canoe kayak) and Kim Crow (rowing) and hold five of the twelve elected positions on the AOC Board.
The AOC President, John Coates, has long been an advocate of greater gender diversity on the AOC Board. “Women comprise 45% of our Summer Olympic Team and 50% of our Winter Olympic Team, and in recent times they are winning the bulk of our Olympic medals, it is only right that women therefore have a greater presence on our Board” Coates said.
“The new candidates are three outstanding women, on and off the field of play, and I am looking forward to working closely with them in the future. They have much to offer”.
Kitty Chiller competed at the Sydney 2000 Games and has remained very much involved in sport. She has been the President of Modern Pentathlon Australia since 2009 and was Deputy Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Danielle Woodward is a triple Olympian, 1992, 1996 and 2000, winning a silver medal in Barcelona in 92. Danielle is President and Chair of Australian Canoeing and a federal agent for the Australian Federal Police having worked for the United Nations in East Timor in
2002 – 2003.
Nicole Livingstone is also a three-time Olympian, 1988, 1992 and 1996, winning silver and two bronze medals. Out of the pool she established herself as a leading television host and broadcaster and recently became a member of the Swimming Australia Board.
Nominations for the election on May 5th closed today. AOC President John Coates will be elected unopposed.
Only seven nominations have been received for the seven Board positions meaning their election is a formality.
Helen Brownlee will move up to become the AOC’s first-ever female Vice-President joining Peter Montgomery. They will also be elected unopposed.
The elected AOC Board will comprise:
John Coates - President
Peter Montgomery - Vice President
Helen Brownlee - Vice President
Nicole Livingstone tells: I couldn't just sit on the sidelines
SO MANY people have asked me why I wanted to be involved with swimming more than I already was _ especially as I was already busy with the Australian Olympic Committee as well.
There is no grand plan of being on boards for the next 20 or 30 years _ it is much simpler than that.
I love the sport and the Olympic movement. They have both been very kind to me and provided me with experiences and opportunities throughout my life and I want to give back to them.
Plus, I wanted to actually put in an effort to make a difference _ not just criticise from the sidelines.
With those words, Nicole Livingstone explains to JESSICA HALLORAN why she has jumped in the deep end in a bid to rescue he sport.
Your president resigned amid allegations of bad behaviour and the major sponsor was lost. How does Swimming Australia recover?
There is no doubt it's been a difficult time, Jess, there's no hiding from that. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't shed a tear. We simply have to pick ourselves up and recover. There is too much at stake to not do so.
There are no easy solutions other than hard work, but we have to do it together, as a team and as an organisation. We will always develop new champions, but I want it to be because of their environment, not in spite of it. We have some amazing athletes who deserve the opportunity to become great Australians. We have to enable them to do so.
Why should the public maintain faith in the sport of swimming?
Our sport has a proud history and we owe all of those coaches and athletes who have come before us to restore the sport to where I know it can be. The swimmers have started to lead the way back with impressive performances in Adelaide recently. We finished with 11 world No.1-ranked times. Despite the recent external appearances I think the signs of bouncing back are strong.
You said you wouldn't be a candidate for the presidency, can you expand on why?
I have a very busy life outside Swimming Australia. I'm new to it, I only put my hand up for the swimming board last October. I am on other boards, such as VicHealth, State Sports Centre Trust, the Victorian Olympic Council and have just started on the AOC executive.
With all of this, along with my work in the media, life is hectic. I have watched with interest the challenges faced by others in the media who are involved with sport, and it's challenging.
Will the sport be looking outside the swimming community for a candidate for the top job?
For me, the bottom line is we need the best person for the position _ full stop. If it means that person is outside the current board, then so be it. However, there could also be some excellent candidates within the sport.
Axed Swimming Australia president Barclay Nettlefold said he was the victim of "character assassination'' - is there any truth to this?
There has been a tremendous amount of work done in the past seven months. Barclay, along with the board, has been driving that. What happened is disappointing because it detracts from all that good work that has been put into place. However, I'm not in a position to speak further on the detail of Barclay's comments post-resignation.
There has been an attempt to culturally overhaul the organisation via the Smith and Bluestone reviews. What effects are you seeing because of these initiatives?
Cultural change is not an easy thing to do, it takes time. But it's so worth committing to and not just with our swimming team, it needs to be addressed across all areas, otherwise it won't be effective or lasting. It's already started in so many areas.
We have great people working with the team to make it better. We have two great new leaders in Mark Anderson and Michael Scott. They are positive men and they both have a personal culture that's caring, and that's a huge step in the right direction. Next priority is the head coach and finding not just the best person but the best fit as well.
We saw a lack of leadership with the Olympic team. How much of that can be traced back to the problems at administrative level?
Wow, you're hitting me with the tough questions! This all happened before I joined the board, so I would only be commenting on what I saw working in London.
What I'll say, though, is that I don't think any leadership problems are irreversible. I want to look forward, not backwards, and focus on what I can do to help make it better.
As a former Olympic swimmer, how do you feel about the negative publicity?
I'm really hurt. And upset. I've been around swimming all my life and while I'm long retired, I still know what's involved and that's what hurts me most. Every morning at 4.30am, swimmers right around our country are getting up and diving in the pool and working their butts off.
They dream of the same things I did when I was a swimmer; swimming as fast as you can, of being good. I want them to be supported and applauded, not have it all overshadowed by controversy. I want them to know they are appreciated.
Who in the team can step up as leaders?
This is such an exciting time for the team. At the camp in Canberra, the team selected their own leadership group. I am proud of them for showing their interest in the change.
The girls are Bronte Barratt, Cate Campbell, Sally Foster and Mel Gorman, and for the guys Brenton Rickard, Matt Abood, Tom Fraser-Holmes and Rhys Mainstone. Along with Michael Scott and coaches Michael Bohl and Rohan Taylor.
For the swimmers, it's an experience they'll be able to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
We didn't win individual gold in London, so how will we perform at the Barcelona world titles?
Argh, I get a bit frustrated with this. Trust me, they are trying. You can't stop anyone else from swimming fast _ they need to just focus on being as fast as they can and as competitive as they can. We left Adelaide with 11 No.1 world-ranked times, great depth in the relays _ the women's 4x100 and 4x200 free in particular.
We wait to see what the US produces at their trials. Mind you, this is all on paper; what we want to see is our swimmers being fearless and racing the race.
Who do you see as our best chances for medals?
There ares quite a few: Christian Sprenger, he has put his head down since silver in London; Cate Campbell and James Magnussen in the 100m freestyle, Alicia Coutts in the 200IM and 100m butterfly, she won silvers at the last worlds. Of course, the girls in the backstroke _ Em Seebohm and Bindy Hocking _ and I'm super excited for Jordan Harrison after a huge PB in the 1500m.
I'm looking forward to seeing them all enjoying being part of the team. They are some of my fondest memories and my teammates are still some of my very best friends. That's the way it should be.
What is your message for parents who might be concerned about the events of the past 12 months?
I know parents are often the unsung heroes; they are there at ungodly hours smelling the chlorine, playing taxi, chef and whatever else needs doing. I am embarking on that myself now; yes, I am proud to say, I am now a swimming parent, too. I'm not sure how my mum and dad managed it, to be honest.
Swimming is first and foremost a life skill. But it's something I want my kids to do because I still firmly believe in the environment that they are in. It's teaching them many skills that will stay with them for life, both in and out of the pool. We have so many brilliant teachers and coaches out there steering our kids.
Geoff Huegill said the London team ruined the legacy provided by swimmers of your generation. What do you say to that?
I disagree. The legacy of our sport is so much bigger than one person, one team, one performance or one meet. We have some great talent coming through _ as important for me, though, is that we are producing great people as well as great swimmers.
We all need to understand what is expected of us and the responsibility that comes with being part of it.
How would describe the state of Swimming Australia now?
My message would be stick with us. We are rebuilding both in and out of the pool. I'm very positive about our future.