The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) appointed rugby union legend George Gregan, and Winter Olympic ski great Lydia Lassila as its first global sportstech ambassadors. The two world-class athletes and sportstech founders will represent ASTN in an upcoming European trade mission and share their entrepreneurial insights with ASTN’s members.
What do Lassila and Gregan bring to ASTN in the roles?
Lassila and Gregan will attend key international events, including ASTN’s trade mission to Europe in June that’s supported by Federal and State Govts. They will contribute to ASTN’s second innovation report released later this year with their insights, act as mentors for ASTN’s member network, as well as for ASTN’s pre-accelerator and accelerator participants.
Lydia Lassila (OAM) is an Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist and a trailblazer in freestyle aerial skiing having competed at five consecutive Winter Olympics (2002-18). Her accolades include the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s Don Award, Australian Institute of Sport’s Athlete of the Year, Ski and Snowboard Australia Athlete of the Year and the Order of Australia Medal.
Lassila is founder of Zone By Lydia, an eco-conscious yoga brand, and BodyICE, specially designed ice packs that help people recover from injuries. She will also support ASTN with its Women in Sportstech program and activities, working with Women in Sports Technology (WiST) to help increase the representation of women in Australia’s sportstech industry.
“It’s an exciting time for the sportstech industry and there are so many partnerships that will contribute to innovation and growth. I’m in awe of the work ASTN is doing to provide leadership in the commercialisation, development and promotion of Australian-inspired sports technologies on a global scale and I look forward to taking part in the European business matching mission and sharing my BodyICE journey with ASTN members,” said Lassila.
George Gregan (OAM) is respected across the rugby world for his tenacity, sportsmanship, skill and leadership ability. He is a Rugby World Cup Champion and holds a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to Rugby Union Football and as the Captain of the Wallabies. He has a wealth of achievements under his belt and is known for leading the ACT Brumbies, Australian Wallabies and Suntory Sungoliath in Japan to multiple victories over the years.
Off the field, George Gregan co-founded PTP Fitness more than 12 years ago, developing strength and conditioning products and programs to help people move smarter and ultimately perform better in whatever fitness or sporting goals they set out to achieve.
“I’m passionate about supporting the next generation of sports people and sportstech businesses to compete at a global level. There is a tremendous amount of talent in Australia and through my ambassadorship with ASTN I look forward to sharing what I’ve learnt on my startup journey to help other sportstech founders reach their potential,” said Gregan.
What do the appointments mean for ASTN?
James Demetriou, Founding Chair and Director, Commercialisation and Global Partnerships at ASTN, believes the Australian Sports Technologies Network is privileged to have these two elite and highly regarded sports people advocate for its purpose on the global stage.
“Lydia Lassila and George Gregan are both incredible athletes and household names, as well as successful sportstech founders. We are honoured they’ve both chosen to represent ASTN for the next year to help accelerate Australia’s sportstech industry globally,” said Demetriou.
“Gregan and Lassila’s businesses are true testament to ASTN’s ‘born global’ mentality, with both starting their sportstech journey in Australia and now residing overseas. As our two inaugural Global Ambassador’s impart their firsthand knowledge with our member base and partners, we can’t wait to see the positive impact this has on the sector,” said Demetriou.
ASTN’s international trade mission to Europe will commence in June to Europe’s prominent startup tech event, VIVA Technology in Paris and will then visit Switzerland (Lausanne and Zurich) before ending with stops in Germany (Frankfurt) and Belgium. More information on the trade mission has been announced and released onto the ASTN website.