AIS banner

Athlete Pathway (Talent) Development Initiatives

Athlete pathway development is essential to grow Australia’s talent pipeline. The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) will extend the reach of Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) expertise to support athlete development pathways for sports that have the potential to contribute to the national high performance targets outlined in Australia’s Winning Edge.

The ASC will implement the following pathway initiatives aimed at growing our talent pipeline:

Sports draft and second chance programs

The AIS will conduct annual ‘Sports Draft’ and ‘Second Chance’ programs for Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games Sports. This process will be supported by subject matter experts within the talent identification area of the AIS. They will identify athletes that may be suited to less accessible sports.

Talent pool expansion

The AIS will implement a nationally coordinated talent identification, development and pathway enhancement project which includes:

  • talent transfer opportunities for professional athletes (for example, rugby) who are delisted, suffer a sport-specific career-ending injury or are wanting to extend their careers to be transferred to Summer and Winter Olympic sports for competition in 2016, 2018 and 2020
  • talent transfer opportunities for athletes to transition from sports that have similar skills (for example, gymnastics, diving and aerial skiing)

In addition the ASC, through the AIS, will work with sports to prioritise possible investment in:

Full-time dedicated pathway managers

Currently many sports add the responsibility of managing the athlete pathway to staff already holding another role within the organisation. In order to elevate the importance of pathway development, the opportunity to appoint a full-time dedicated pathway manager within priority national sporting organisations (NSOs) will be considered, forming a senior management group consisting of CEOs, performance directors and national head coaches.

Talent enrichment team

Over time, the AIS will seek to build a team of specialists to support talented athletes via NSO pathway managers. Specialists, aligned with AIS disciplines, include:

  • strength and conditioning
  • physiology
  • skill acquisition
  • nutrition
  • psychology
  • physiotherapy
  • recovery
  • Athlete Career and Education coordination.

Multi-sport centre of excellence

The possibility of establishing a multi-sport centre of excellence will be considered to connect high performance athletes, coaches and specialists from smaller sports with an opportunity to win a large number of medals.

The multi-sport centre of excellence could use existing expertise from within the AIS associated with talent recruitment and development to provide support to coaches and athletes.

Sports that lend themselves to this approach include combat sports (boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling), target sports (shooting and archery), ice skating (short track, long track and figure skating) and acrobatic sports (aerial skiing, diving and trampolining).


The ASC will allocate an additional $2m annually to support the development of athlete pathways and new initiatives to grow our talent pipeline.

Follow us

follow us on facebook follow us on youtube follow us on twitter follow us on instagram
AIS Shop - Dress like a champion