Relocating to a high performance (HP) program represents a significant transition in the life of an elite athlete. Every athlete relocation is unique and requires a consideration of individually tailored support, advice, and education.
Australian athletes who relocate to a high performance program are supported to thrive in sport and in life.
This document provides National Sports Organisations (NSOs) with a framework of principles and accompanying guidelines to consider when working with athletes who are relocating to a HP program. The purpose of these principles and accompanying guidelines is to foster informed decision-making, promote clarity of communication, and maximise an athlete’s positive experience of HP.
This framework is intended for use as a ‘best practice’ guide. It is anticipated that NSOs will draw from it in formulating policies and processes that are specific to, and customised for, the particular demands of individual HP programs.
What constitutes a relocation
Required or approved vs discretionary
Some athlete relocations are required by NSOs as being necessary for program participation and team selection. Other athlete relocations occur as a result of joint decision-making between an NSO and a categorised athlete who is seeking improved sporting opportunities.
Instances of relocation that are made at an athlete’s personal discretion, in the absence of the High Performance Director’s (HPD) direction or approval (i.e. an athlete is simply ‘trying a new environment’), are not regarded as athlete relocations for the purposes of this framework.
While NSOs are encouraged to assist any athlete who is moving between training environments as much as reasonably practicable, these principles have been designed for use in cases of required or approved relocation only. All required or approved relocations should be approved by the NSO’s HPD.
Permanent vs temporary
Athlete relocation may be either temporary (training block, camp, or other specific period even if extended in duration) or permanent (relocation from an athlete’s place of primary residence to a new HP training environment). These principles have been designed to assist in scenarios of permanent relocation, but may be useful to consider in matters of temporary relocation as well.