From the Director: The Shinkansen effect

From the Director: The Shinkansen effect

The “Shinkansen effect” derived its name from the Japanese word for “bullet train” and refers to the notion of radical change, innovation, and working towards audacious and perhaps seemingly impossible goals.

The origin of the Shinkansen effect came from the Japanese business revolution in the mid-20th century. Beyond the world of business, Shinkansen thinking – or “bullet train thinking” – can be applied in other areas of our lives in which we seek to make fundamental change, take a risk, disrupt a system, break out of our comfort zone – or even cope with change imposed on us.

In March this year, COVID-19 disrupted our lives in a significant way. In Melbourne – seven months on – we continue to be challenged by the relative uncertainty and speed of change brought about by the global pandemic. This year has forced us to think, work, learn, connect, create, and live differently – to open our senses, hearts and minds, and examine every aspect of our lives, our values and purpose, and what matters.

For those of us who have dedicated our lives to coaching, it has been a time in which our love and passion to coach and connect has been re-affirmed, and a reminder of the privilege we have in fostering the growth of every young person in our care. We have been forced to change the way we coach, explored different ways to connect, experimented with various initiatives to broaden our reach and engage our community, and taken program design and co-creation with our students to new levels.

At the time of writing, we are preparing with great excitement to re-boot our sport and physical activity programs for a second time this year. Whilst we will continue to have some constraints for the indefinite future – and come to terms with expressions such as “COVID-normal” – we are grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to bond and learn more about each other and our community over the past few months. The gift of this time and the lessons we’ve learnt will play an important part in helping us to reimagine and shape an even better future for Artemis Aquatics, Artemis Gymnastics and our extended community.

We have warmly welcomed two important team members to Artemis Programs over the past few months.

New Head Swim Coach of Artemis Aquatics – Brad Harris – joined us in April. You can learn more about Brad, his coaching journey, and his love for swimming in this recent interview piece. Brad has been investing his time in getting to know our swimmers and families, leading his coaching team through a series of progressive coach development workshops, and redesigning our learn to swim to performance squad pathway.  

Phoebe McWilliams began her role as Artemis Service Coordinator in July and is the mastermind behind a number of invigorating changes to our website design and content. Phoebe is an Old Grammarian, graduating from MGGS in (2003) and has gone on to forge an impressive professional career as a journalist and communications specialist in combination with a remarkable athletic career as an AFLW player. Phoebe was signed as a priority player for Greater Western Sydney before the 2016 AFLW draft, and finished as the Giants leading goal-kicker in 2017 and 2018. After two seasons with the Giants,  Phoebe joined the Geelong Football Club and was ecstatic to be allowed to join her Cat teammates for pre-season training – in real life – last week.

With thanks to Phoebe’s direction, our home page has had a refreshing redesign. I also draw your attention to a few of our recent blog posts which provide practical and valuable insights into some of the ways we’ve delivered programs to our community during lockdown…

… and many more.

Exercise – and its extensive physical, mental, social, emotional, and cognitive benefits – is at the very core of being a well and healthy person. We can’t wait to open our pool and gymnastic spaces to our community over the coming weeks, and it will be a matter of priority for us to do what we can as soon as we can to welcome our young swimmers and gymnasts back into our programs.

We will keep our website up to date with exciting program changes, news on registrations opening for learn to swim lessons, squads returning, as well as our Fundamentals and Jets Gymnastics.  

We have no clear return date for facility hire but will keep our community members updated as this unfolds.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to continue with your 30 minutes plus of exercise everyday – perhaps go a step further and challenge yourself with a radical goal that will extend you beyond what you thought you were capable of.

Play on!



Sally Bailey, Executive Director, Artemis Programs