Australian Institute of Sport to support returning athletes
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) will run a series of workshops for athletes who are contemplating retirement or who are looking for additional support on their return from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
Dr Nathan Price, Acting Manager of the National Athlete Career and Education (NACE) Program at the AIS, said there were a number of facets to the workshops, which are being supported by the Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Paralympic Committee, depending on the athlete’s situation.
“Preparing for and coping with the unique challenges of training, being selected and excelling at an Olympic or Paralympic Games can be a test for even seasoned elite athletes,” Dr Price said.
“We will also be providing transitional support to athletes who are retiring or contemplating retirement after the Games.
“This may include career planning, educational guidance and employment preparation. We look at lifestyle management and personal development as well as psychological services to maximise wellbeing.
“These workshops will offer tools and information for athletes to prepare for the next chapter in their lives as well as provide them with an additional de-brief opportunity post games and an opportunity to hear experiences from former athletes who have retired and navigated through the transition phase post a major event.”
Two-time Olympic cyclist Katherine Bates, who was forced to give up competitive cycling after a serious back injury in December last year, concedes the transition from being an athlete into 'normal life' is a tough one.
“As an athlete you have such clear goals, and measured outcomes, which is hard to replicate in the next phase,” she said.
“ Having said this, the passion that goes into being an athlete is an intrinsic quality, and so can be applied and transferred into whatever area one chooses.
“Whether it was NACE, the coaches, sports psychs or athlete mentors, I've never felt alone in my mission to succeed, on and off the track.”
The workshops are designed for athletes who were part of the 2012 Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams and will be conducted in November this year. The locations include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth.
These workshops are in addition to the support services already offered by NACE and sport psychology networks that elite athletes can access through the AIS or their state institutes and academies of sport.
The Australian Government provides over $1 million per year through the AIS to support athlete career and education services.
For further information visit Athlete and Career Education on our website.