The Australian Rugby Sevens program has appointed Paul Penna as Sports Psychologist on a part-time basis.
In a position funded by the Australian Institute of Sport, Penna commences his role with immediate effect.
Penna is a Senior Sports Psychologist and Director of FOCUS Perform Psychology primarily working with individual athletes, teams and businesses to improve performance and experience ongoing success.
He has 13 years' of experience having worked with some of Australia's elite athletes at Swimming Australia, Cricket NSW and NRL sides Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons. Penna has also collaborated with coaches and athletes preparing at the last four Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.
Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "Over the past two season’s the women’s program continues to grow on and off the field and the appointment of Paul [Penna] is a vital piece in the overall progression of this team in our quest for Olympic success.
"After a consultation with Wallaby World Cup-winning coach Rod Macqueen, I took his advice and themed each season. This season’s theme is focussed on “Growth and Leadership”. Paul has elite experience in women’s team sports and Olympic Games success.
"His values and performance focus align with our team culture and vision and will accelerate our growth in dealing with high pressure situations and further embed the team culture, ultimately giving us the tools to live to our ruthless high standards more effectively.”
Penna added: "Working at the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) from 2001 until 2007 provided me with the platform into Elite level and Professional sport and I am excited about the opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary team preparing athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games."
The Australian Sports Commission is proud to support the ARU's National Rugby Sevens program by providing funding and direct athlete support as part of Australia's Winning Edge game plan for moving from world class to world best.