09 April 2021
Women athletes will be supported to pursue professional career options in the Australian sport industry as part of a new program being launched today by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
The AIS Athlete Accelerate Program aims to increase career pathway options for women athletes so they can continue to progress their leadership skills in sport well beyond their athletic careers.
The inaugural program will be available for up to 15 athletes and is funded by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and supported by Sport Australia.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said this investment in our elite women athletes will provide them with development opportunities to reach their leadership potential.
“Australia’s elite sportswomen play a pivotal role in inspiring and modelling leadership to Australian women and girls,” Minister Payne said.
Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said the Australian Government is committed to supporting further opportunities for women athletes.
“There is huge scope to increase the number of women in leadership positions in Australian sport,” he said.
“This program will enable more women to further their careers and foster the growth of future athletes and sports leaders, which is exciting.”
AIS CEO Peter Conde said the program would identify athletes who could develop and transfer their leadership capabilities and their experience in high performance sport to become part of a more diverse sporting workforce.
“Australian sport needs to develop more women leaders and there is a fantastic talent pool of potential future leaders right in front of us - our elite women athletes,” Conde said.
“The AIS Athlete Accelerate Program is about identifying the leadership skills that already exist in our elite women athletes, then providing them with the professional development to support their transition from the athletic performance stage to the sporting workforce.
“Many elite athletes naturally develop leadership skills throughout their competitive careers, so this program is about supplementing that with professional development in areas such as career action plans and building professional networks. We want women who participate in this program to be part of the catalyst for change.”
Conde said the program was designed to deliver transformation.
“To ensure this program makes a genuine difference, high performance sport leaders are required to support the application process so they can influence and advocate on behalf of the athlete. We need the buy-in of current leaders to ensure we continue breaking down barriers and make real change to our sporting workforce.”
Former and current categorised athletes who are employed by a state or national sporting organisation in a part-time or full-time capacity or those ready to advance their sports administration or coaching career are encouraged to apply for the program. Applications are now open and close April 23.