AIS Coach and Athlete Forum

The inaugural Athlete and Coaches Forum was held in November 2015. The AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership designed the forum specifically for Australia’s podium and podium-potential athletes and coaches to share their experiences and expand their leadership capability.

Among the more than 100 attendees were some of Australia’s greatest sporting assets, such as Anna Meares, Matthew Mitcham and Ric Charlesworth. They joined fellow athletes and coaches from a diverse range of sports including athletics, swimming, netball, surfing, AFL and NRL. The forum is a key strategy of Australia’s Winning Edge and highlights the AIS’ focus on developing coaches and leaders.

Now | Best | Next Summit

The Now | Best | Next Summit – The Pursuit of Personal Excellence featured 23 world-class speakers and provided the opportunity for athlete wellbeing professionals to delve into what is happening ‘now’ in athlete wellbeing, explore ‘best’ practice, and uncover emergent thinking around what is ‘next’ in this field. Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent Solutions, facilitated the summit of 150 delegates representing 20 sports and 70 associations, clubs and institutes. Now | Best | Next signifies Australian sport’s willingness to take a systemic and united approach to athlete wellbeing.

Concussion in Sport

The AIS and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) collaborated to address growing health concerns about sport-related concussion through a joint position statement on Concussion in Sport. Research shows there has been a significant rise in the number of people admitted to hospital for sport-related concussion over the past decade and children are particularly vulnerable. The AIS and AMA reached a joint recommendation that children avoid full-contact training or sporting activity until at least 14 days after all symptoms of concussion have cleared. An Australian Government funded website, www.concussioninsport.gov.au, provides simple but specific tools and videos for athletes, parents, teachers, coaches and medical practitioners. The website provides clear and contemporary information to support and protect Australia’s sporting participants.





AusPlay Survey

The ASC launched AusPlay, a new national population tracking survey, in November 2015. As at 30 June 2016, contractor ORC International had completed more than 18,200 surveys. AusPlay will fill a major gap in national sport and physical recreation data by providing annual data on sport participation to inform investment, policy and sport delivery. AusPlay is the first national survey in Australia that collects adult and children’s sport and physical recreation participation data from the same household using both landline and mobile telephone interviews. The first public reports from the survey will be published in November 2016.

Sporting Schools

ASC CEO Simon Hollingsworth officially launched the Sporting Schools program with the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Minister for Sport, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP in July 2015 at Sydney’s Werrington Public School. The launch followed a successful pilot program run during the first half of 2015. Since then Sporting Schools has grown to include 5870 registered schools with 4393 of those running funded programs, above predictions for the first year of the initiative. Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative designed to help schools to increase children’s participation in sport. In partnership with more than 30 NSOs, Sporting Schools helps coordinate sporting organisations, coaches and teachers to deliver sport before, during and after school hours.

Play.Sport.Australia. Communication Approach

The ASC has delivered a series of targeted communications to support Play.Sport.Australia., including video and social media to deliver participation messages and further promote the benefits of sport. In October 2015 the ASC released the ‘No Time for Never’ video encouraging people of all ages to take part in organised sport, attracting more than 1.5 million views and 28,000 reactions, comments and shares. Two videos titled ‘Stick With It’, targeting teenage sport participation were released in April 2016, featuring Australian Netball captain Laura Geitz and Australian Rugby Union national team captain, Stephen Moore. The ‘Stick With It’ videos were viewed nearly 646,000 times and received more than 12,200 reactions, comments and shares. A dedicated Play.Sport.Australia. Facebook page was launched and continues to feature content to promote sport participation.





Integrity Guidelines

The ASC released the Integrity Guidelines for directors and leaders of sporting organisations in May 2016. The document provides support for sports and professional clubs to strengthen integrity frameworks and address issues confronting sports. It includes a practical roadmap across key issues such as anti-doping, illicit drugs, match fixing, member protection and sports-science sports-medicine. The ASC, along with its partners the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU), is developing further resources to complement the new guidelines, including an e-learning module and staging a series of integrity forums.

Governance Reform in Sport

In June 2016 the ASC released the second wave of governance reform which calls for sports to take a unified approach to behaviours, processes and supporting systems. Released following extensive national consultation and feedback, the reforms are aimed at improving commercial outcomes and building trust and cohesion across national and state sporting organisations, State/Territory Department of Sport and Recreation (SDSR) and the ASC. Building on extensive governance improvements led by the ASC in the past three years, the reform process will focus first on Olympic and Commonwealth Games sports.

Gender Equity and Travel Policies

The ASC is committed to the fair recognition and reward of elite female athletes and in early 2016 wrote to 30 NSOs to highlight progress in women’s sport and call for continued support and growth. With the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Minister for Sport, the ASC advised sports of new requirements to have gender equitable travel policies and travel arrangements for attendance at major international sporting events, ensuring that female athletes receive the same travel standard as male athletes. The ASC has received a positive response from NSOs, many of which already practice gender equitable travel policies, and continues to work with sports to further improve all gender equality and the promotion of female participation in sport. Compliance with new travel obligations will be tracked through the Annual Sports Performance Review (ASPR).





Basketball floor upgrade

The AIS Basketball and Netball Centre received a state-of-the-art flooring upgrade in 2016. The new floor is an ActionCush II Plus FIBA accredited system, surfaced in North American Hard Maple, which is expected to last 30 years. The project also included installation of new electrical and data lines for timing and scoring systems and installation of new energy efficient LED lighting throughout the five-court complex. The facility was closed on 21 December 2015 and reopened in March 2016 for use by Basketball Australia, Netball Australia and other high performance and community users. 

Commercial Strategy

The ASC successfully implemented a number of elements of its commercial strategy throughout the year, including sponsorships, merchandise and events. A major component of this strategy was the launch of the ‘Experience AIS’ website, a public portal for tours, sports camps, entertainment and events, and the online AIS Shop. The ASC established five new partnerships and continues to work with key corporate partners, including 2XU, Gatorade and Dairy Australia. In the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, three new fundraising initiatives for the dAIS program were introduced: staff workplace giving, fundraising dinners and public donations boxes at the AIS campus in Bruce, raising more than $80,000.

ASC Enterprise Agreement

The Commission formalised the new ASC Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019 on 19 February 2016. The agreement was successfully negotiated within the Australian Government bargaining framework and returned an overwhelming 95 per cent ‘yes’ vote from a turnout of more than 60 per cent of employees. The agreement delivers a number of changes over the three-year period, including a new classification and remuneration structure with no reduction to existing conditions or benefits. The agreement is underpinned by productivity savings and is supported by successful internal efficiency measures previously implemented. The vote was a positive result for employees and reflects the ASC’s commitment to the bargaining process and delivering outcomes to best balance employee and organisational requirements.