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Australian Institute of Sport

Athlete Availability Program

Availability is the greatest ability of an elite athlete

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) mission is to lead and enable a united and collaborative high performance system that supports Australian athletes to achieve international podium success.

The Athlete Availability Program (AAP) is an initiative of the Applied Technology and Innovation team within the AIS.

The primary purpose of the AAP is to improve health, training availability and performance outcomes of Australian athletes by facilitating the adoption of a proactive, preventative healthcare model across the National High Performance Sports System.

Surfing Australia's Sally Fitzgibbons and Australian Diving athletes have taken part in the Athlete Availability Program (AAP)

Athlete Availability Program Objectives

The AAP was developed to provide support and expertise to sports and their athletes to increase the probability of athletes reaching peak performance and maintaining their health ahead of Olympic and Paralympic Games. The AAP objectives are to:

Quantify and prioritise areas of health requiring prevention within sports and across sports
Embed prevention systems into National Sporting Organisations
Increase awareness of the impact of health on performance outcomes
Build workforce capability across the sports industry related to health
Improve the efficiency of the health system within the sporting sector
Lead and enable a connected high performance health system focussed on improving the health and performance of Australian athletes
Lead the creation of new knowledge related to athlete health and its relationship with performance
Lead the implementation of research findings using innovative and proven methods to increase adoption of new knowledge

Research at the AIS

The AIS offers a number of PhD scholarships based at the AIS campus in Canberra. The positions are fully funded in collaboration with partner organisations including various Australian Universities and Institutes of Sport. The AAP team also supports PhD candidates external to the AIS, with many embedded in National Sporting Organisations, State Institutes or professional sporting teams. The PhDs contribute important research output to Australian sport to ultimately improve athlete health and performance.

PhDs at the AIS
Student, University, Research Topic, collaborative partners

  • Harley De Vos (University of Newcastle) Psychological aspects of recovery: Promoting holistic recovery to improve performance health in elite athletes
  • Mathew Mooney (University of Canberra) Elite Athlete Availability: A Field epidemiological approach to investigation and management of infectious disease in high performance sport
  • Aimee Morabito (Australian Catholic University) Investigating current methods used to measure the symptoms and markers associated with low energy availability in athletes
  • Margot Rogers (University of Canberra) Energy availability and the prevention of injury and illness in elite female athletes

PhDs external to AIS with links to Athlete Availability team
Student, University/Partner Organisation, Research Topic

  • Stuart Adams (University of Newcastle/Newcastle Jets Football Club) Player Monitoring and Secondary Injury Prevention in Male Professional Football
  • Ben Currie (University of Canberra/Diving Australia) Performance Health in Australian Diving Athletes: Optimising Injury Prevention and Health Systems and Practices
  • Kate Dooley (University of Newcastle/NBA) Biomechanical Risk Factors for Hip Adductor Myotendinous Injuries
  • Sara Guevara (University of Canberra/NSW Institute of Sport) Investigating factors that affect athlete attrition on the high performance pathway – A complex systems approach
  • Bronwen Lundy (Australian Catholic University/Rowing Australia) Nutrition related risk factors for rib stress injury in elite rowers
  • Ben Raysmith (Linkoping University, Sweden/Athletics Australia) A systems approach to evaluating health factors that influence performance success or failure in athletics
  • Benjamin Salcinovic (University of Canberra/Aspetar, Doha) Systems Thinking in High Performance teams: The value of team function on performance outcomes
  • Erin Smyth (University of Canberra/Netball Australia) Prevention of injuries in pre-elite adolescent athletes
  • Matthew Turnbull (University of Canberra/North Melbourne Football Club) Performance, health and the financial cost of injury in a professional Australian Football League club
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