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The team

Julian Jones

Julian has been with the AIS for nearly 20 years, coming from working with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the Australian Weightlifting Federation.

Julian’s professional interests focus on the developing the “soft skills’ needed to be an excellent S&C Coach as well as in optimising the planning components of performance across sports to enable the Performance Support Team to gain the best outcomes for the athlete and team they are working with. Julian is passionate about all aspects of the S&C being able to holistically develop both the athlete and coach to gain increased performance gains.

Working in an environment where you are surrounded by likeminded motivated people enables you to achieve far greater things together than what would have been able to be achieved on your own. Having said that, Australian S&C has some of the best practitioner in the world, they just don’t get caught up in the self-promotion that is now clouding the industry. The AIS has a national remit to lead and influence the whole sporting system, this enables you to be creative and innovative in many ways to achieve performance outcomes.”

Ross Smith

Ross has been at the AIS since 2004, previously working at NSWIS and in professional sports and coaching athletics and has over 20 years’ experience in coaching. Ross has worked across a broad cross section of sports both team and individual.

Ross’ professional interests focus on speed and power development, movement pattern development and athlete rehabilitation. Developing a holistic approach to S&C that links the athletes strength and weaknesses, current and future needs of the sport and the sport specific training is essential to cultivate a training structure that can build the capacities of the athlete and give the best change of attaining sporting outcomes.

"Working in a team that has the freedom to check and challenge each other, with respect for all and the ability to work together will always lead to results far greater than and individual alone."


Kate George

Kate provides administrative and project support to the AIS Strength and Conditioning discipline. This position involves research testing and data collection, maintenance of gym equipment and resources, coordination of internal and external athlete camps and gym facility management.

It is exciting and motivating to work with professionals who are so enthusiastic about their work.”

Aaron Holt

Aaron’s a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach, and has been with the AIS for eight years, coming from the New South Wales Institute of Sport. Aaron’s professional interests focus on strength and conditioning coaching, programming and capability development inside the strength and conditioning discipline. Aaron is involved in competition and training program planning of different sports inside the Winning Edge national structure.

"I’m excited to work with such great coaches, and talented and hardworking athletes here at the AIS. Strength and conditioning involves working in a multi-disciplinary team, working alongside other professionals to achieve outcomes set out by the sport. Watching Australian athletes and teams achieve results on the world stage, and seeing all the hard work come together is a great privilege.”

John Mitchell

John is a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach commencing work at the AIS in January 2015. He has over 24 years of strength and conditioning industry experience working with athletes across a wide variety of sports from development through to highest level of Olympic competition. 

John is currently responsible for providing strength and conditioning support services to Rowing Australia and the Australian Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Centre of Excellence program. Additionally, he works nationally across all AIS sports programs to develop and refine the Athlete Monitoring System in relation to strength and conditioning.

I am very fortunate to be working within a passionate group of high level coaches where daily discussion challenges and drives current paradigms in S&C. The opportunity to use this knowledge to support and influence Australia’s future sporting elite is truly a privilege.”

Jan Legg

Jan is a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach and has been working at the AIS since 2007.   Over this time Jan has extended her knowledge working with a large variety of sports including water polo, rowing and archery.  For the last 4 years Jan has been the lead strength and conditioning coach for the Australian women’s basketball team, the Opals, as well as the underpinning Basketball  Australia Centre of Excellence program.  Recently Jan has also commenced work with the Swimming Australia squad based at the AIS.

Working at the AIS is truly a privilege as you get to work with the nation’s best athletes, coaches and support staff.  You are constantly pushed to expand your knowledge and learn from other professionals in order to achieve the outcomes set by the sport.  The opportunity to work at the AIS and share in the excitement of preparing athletes for major sporting events is a huge honour.”

Brendyn Appleby

Brendyn has been a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the AIS since 2014.  Joining the AIS to work with the National Hockey program based in Perth, Brendyn spent almost a decade as the strength coach for the Western Force Super Rugby team. 

He is a Level 3 Coach with the Australian Strength and Condition Association and is currently undertaking a PhD in the specificity and transfer of resistance training to performance.  He has been working with elite athletes across a wide variety of sports, including swimming, rowing, track and field, water polo and baseball since 1998.

"I am very privileged to work with an exceptional group of players and coaches, excellent people who are among the best in the hockey world."


Debbie Savage

Deb’s a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach, Performance Preparation and has been with the AIS since 2002. Deb’s professional focus is to provide strength and conditioning program development, implementation, associated administration and consultancy services for Australian Winning Edge athletes.

Deb brings qualifications of a Bachelor of Sport Science, Level two Australian Strength Conditioning Association (ASCA), ASCA Professional Pro Structure Coach, Level three IAAF Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, Middle and Long distance, which are utilised with the sports and athletes she works with of Swimming, Triathlon, BMX, Kayak and Athletics.

"It’s a daily thrill working directly with athletes and coach’s within a high performance setting and support team of professionals at the AIS. It’s my passion to provide a coaching and consulting environment to enhance not only the athlete’s sport specific S&C demands but also to connect them to be the best version of themselves regardless of the challenges, viewing pressures as privileges that stand before them."

Glen Workman

Glen is a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach that has worked in Performance Preparation with the AIS since 2003. Glen’s professional focus is to provide Strength and Conditioning program development, implementation and consultancy services for Australian Winning Edge athletes. Glen runs the AIS Gold Coast Hub Gymnasium and their associated University Internship Program.

Glen’s qualifications include; Dip Sports Science, Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Level 2 Professional. Level 3 Senior Rugby League, Level 3 British Amateur Weight Lifting Association, Level 1 in Cricket, Volleyball, Canoe/Kayak and Surf Sports.
Glen brings 30 plus years of coaching to the table at both a Professional and Olympic level working with Pathway Athletes through to Senior Elite Athletes. He currently working with Canoe/Kayak, Para Kayak and Swimming. 

I have one of those jobs that just never seems like work and sure as I get older the athletes get younger but this seems to keep me on my game and somewhat youthful.  I’m now moving into more of a mentor role and enjoying the thought of leaving some form of a legacy behind that can handle themselves both on the sports field , professionally and in life in general.”

Janina Strauts

Janina comes from a strong sports coaching background specifically in the sports of gymnastics and pole vault. She began her strength and conditioning career working at the New South Wales Institute of Sport as an assistant coach initially moving to the AIS in the Post graduate scholar role.

In 2015 Janina transitioned into one of the AIS strength and conditioning coaches and is currently working with the race walking and Paralympic rowing programs.

"Coaching is a real passion of mine and here at the AIS we have a great team of coaches and support staff who share this passion. I love the challenge of working with different sports, athletes and coaches continually broadening my knowledge and innovating new training techniques."

Michael Speranza

Michael has worked as a strength and conditioning coach since 2005, working in a variety of sports including rugby league, netball, tennis and hockey. Michael’s main area expertise is in the development of adolescent athletes, knowledge in this area developed during his tenure as the Athletic Development Coordinator at Padua College, Brisbane.

Michael’s current role at the AIS involves the provision of direct strength and conditioning services for the Football Federation Australia Centre of excellence squad, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Rowing Australia athletes, and the coordination of strength and conditioning services for Shooting Australia.

Providing strength and conditioning support to athletes at the AIS is a position description that I am honoured to have. I am challenged, motivated and inspired everyday by the amazing staff at the AIS to provide the best practice to the athletes that I work with.”

Nyrie Atkins

Nyrie is the Post Graduate Scholar for Strength & Conditioning, and has been with the AIS for nearly a year. Nyrie’s year began as an observational and assistant role, and has transitioned into a more practical and applied role- where the main focus has been on developing her coaching skills and exposing her to the different aspects of the High Performance Sporting environment.

The AIS is a great organisation as it has the ability to impact on so many athletes. The high class facilities, the knowledgeable support staff and the rehabilitation processes, allow athletes to get everything that they need from one destination”.

Kirsten Everett

Kirsten is a PhD Scholar in Strength and Conditioning and has been at the AIS since 2015. Kirsten’s research focuses on quantifying anaerobic exercise and assessing the neuromuscular fatigue response that is associated with this type of exercise.

I really enjoy being part of the AIS environment where I have so many opportunities to learn from great minds and be part of a diverse multi-disciplinary team striving for common goals.”

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