07 May 2021
The following statement is from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Board:
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Board offers our apology and ongoing support to former Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) athletes treated inappropriately in the past.
We know incidents and practices occurred that are not acceptable. For this, we are truly sorry.
We admire the courage of people who have come forward to share their stories. We assure you, we are listening and you have been heard. We have begun reaching out personally to athletes to offer our support.
The AIS ran athlete scholarship programs for various sports from 1981 to 2012. Thousands of athletes have been part of the AIS story and we know most will remember their time fondly. Unfortunately, that is not everyone’s experience.
We owe it to every athlete who has been part of the AIS, to feel supported and to get help if, and when, they need it.
This week we have established a confidential and independent support service, AIS Be Heard. It is available to any former AIS athletes and staff, across all sports, to share their experiences and seek the appropriate support services. Details are available at www.ais.gov.au/AISBe-Heard
This will link to our other support services and resources, including the AIS Mental Health Referral Network which provides confidential psychological support, at no cost for past and present high-performance athletes and staff. Details are available at https://www.ais.gov.au/mhrn
We thank the Australian Human Rights Commission and Gymnastics Australia for undertaking the review presented on Monday, no doubt a painful process but one which can bring positive outcomes for sport more broadly.
Today, we acknowledge our past so we can continue to lead Australian sport into the future.
The ASC is committed to working with our partners in the Australian sporting community to address unacceptable practices of the past, and to ensure they have no place in Australian sport in the future.
We will continue to develop and deliver programs and resources to support the health and wellbeing of athletes, coaches and support staff across the high performance sport sector.