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People Development

Athlete Accelerate Program

Supporting women athletes who are pursuing career options in sport.

The AIS and Sport Australia are delivering a program comprising of learning modules to support female athletes who are pursuing career options in sport. The program has a career and leadership development focus for female athletes transitioning to other professional career pathways in sport. The program will cover areas such as:

  • debriefing the athletic experience
  • fast track career advice
  • developing a career action plan
  • building professional networks
  • leadership skills development
  • understanding the barriers for females to transition and progress their professional careers

Applications are now closed

Key dates

  • 23 April 2021 – Applications closed
  • Early May 2021 – Participants notified

The sessions are designed to deliver transformational leadership and career development skills for women with high performance athletic experience who are ready to advance their professional careers in the Australian sports sector.

The key objectives of the Athlete Accelerate Program are to:

Increase career pathway options for athletes to transition into professional career opportunities in sport.
Increase the number and visibility of female athletes by providing an accelerated pathway to pursue leadership roles in sport.
Provide opportunities to leverage the talent and experience of high performance female athletes in the wider sports sector.


To be eligible for the program, participants will need to be:

  • Aged 18 years or over.
  • An Australian citizen or have been granted permanent residence status.
  • A former or current podium level (ready, potential or podium) categorised athlete and/or a national team representative of a recognised funded sport.
  • Employed or engaged by a state or national sporting organisation in a part-time or full-time capacity or ready to advance their sports administration or coaching career in the Australian sports sector.
  • Available for the program dates that will be confirmed with selected participants.

Participants need to:

  • Identify a sponsor currently employed within the sports sector to support the application. A sponsor is a senior leader who can influence and advocate on behalf of the applicant.
  • Not be an employee of Sport Australia or the Australian Institute of Sport when applying for the program with the exception of applicants engaged on a casual arrangement.

Selection Process

Applicants will be assessed by a selection panel comprising of the AIS Career Development Adviser, Leadership and Culture Manager and Women Leading Sport Project Consultant. The moderation and approvals will be managed by the appointed delegate. The aim is to select a diverse group of participants pursuing a range of roles in the sports sector.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Successful submission of a completed application
  2. Meet the eligibility criteria.
  3. Qualifications
  4. Experience
  5. Response to the following questions:
    1. What are your career aspirations (150-word limit)
    2. How will the program support your career ambitions (150-word limit)

Application Process

Applications closed on Friday 23 April 2021.

For further information please contact:

Conflict of Interest

Any conflicts of interest could affect the program. There may be a conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest, if Australian Institute of Sport staff, Sport Australia staff, any member of the Selection Panel, the Participant, for example:

  • Has a professional, commercial, or personal relationship with a party who is able to influence the selection process, such as an Australian Institute of Sport officer, or an external selection panel member.
  • Has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation which is likely to interfere with or restrict the applicants from carrying out the proposed activities fairly and independently.

Applicants will be asked to declare, as part of their application, any perceived or existing conflicts of interests or that, to the best of their knowledge, there is no conflict of interest.

Conflicts of interest for Sport Australia staff will be handled in accordance with Sport Australia’s Conflict of Interest Policy. Selection Panel members will also be required to declare any conflicts of interest.

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