Smith switches from Lightning to ESSA

ESSA CEO Danielle Smith
New Exercise & Sports Science Australia CEO Danielle Smith. | Photo: Supplied by Exercise & Sports Science Australia

Former Sunshine Coast Lightning boss Danielle Smith is the new CEO of Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

Ms Smith takes over the Brisbane-based organisation, which represents tertiary-trained exercise and sports science practitioners, after seven years with the Super Netball franchise.

With the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics on the horizon, Ms Smith said the ESSA would work to integrate health, sport, and physical activity for elite athletes and everyday Aussies.

“Accredited exercise and sports professionals play a crucial role in the development of Paralympians and Olympians and their expertise can help them reach their full potential and achieve incredible results on the world stage,” she said.

“These professionals revolutionise how athletes train, compete, and recover while promoting physical health and performance optimisation on a wider scale.

“It’s a very exciting time for ESSA and our industry. The field of sports science is dynamic, evolving, and invaluable.”

Ms Smith said exercise and sports science professionals also boosted physical activity among the general population, preventing chronic disease, and promoting healthy lifestyles for all Aussies.

“Accredited exercise and sports professionals are the most qualified to help everyday Australians, kickstart their health journey, fine tune their current training program, or even excel in their chosen sport whether for fun or competition,” Ms Smith said.

ESSA President and Chair of the Board Dr Brendan Joss said Ms Smith was a dynamic, values-driven leader, with exceptional strategic capabilities, proven operational effectiveness, and strong experience in national sporting codes and international sporting events.