WIN: International succcess

We are focused on getting more Australians, on more podiums, more often.

Australia’s Winning Edge, with its clear definition of success, defines the role of the AIS and our key partners in the Australian high performance system and provides a national strategy outlining international performance targets for Australia. Our objective is for Australia to achieve a top 5 finish at the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, top 15 at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and more than 20 world champions annually. To enable this, the AIS provides targeted investment to those sports that demonstrate the greatest chances of short, medium and long-term international success. The AIS also administers the dAIS scheme that provides financial support to Australia’s emerging and top performing athletes and grants to encourage innovation in high performance through the NSO Competitive Innovation Fund.

The AIS also assists sports in the area of governance, commercialisation, research, coaching and leadership, and talent identification. These initiatives aim to ensure that the high performance sector is positioned to achieve sustainable success. The long-term sustainability of the AIS is a key priority and in 2015–16 the ASC commenced the AIS Future Directions project to consider the role and operating model of the AIS Campus in Bruce.

The Win pillar is the cornerstone in delivery of PBS outcome 2 to achieve excellence in sports performance and continued international sporting success.

Our approach

In 2015–16 the AIS continued to embed initiatives and priorities under Australia’s Winning Edge with a focus on providing strong foundations and support to enable success at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This has included the delivery of the AIS Coach and Athlete forum, the annual Sports Draft and Talent Identification Program and the Competitive Innovation Fund. The AIS also hosted Campaign Rio forums delivered in partnership with the AOC and APC, and the Personal Excellence Program.

Key activity areas included:

  • providing targeted investment to NSOs and athletes to enable them to develop high performance programs that achieve international success
  • providing high performance advice and guidance to assist sports with strategy, planning and program
  • delivery of customised athlete, coach and leader talent initiatives to optimise high performance outcomes
  • delivery of sports science and sports medicine expertise to ensure Australia’s athletes get the right support at the right time
  • promoting the growth of new knowledge and expertise for high performance sport
  • facilitating a more aligned and streamlined performance network that supports Australia’s Winning Edge identified athletes and teams across jurisdictions.

On the cusp of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our success in 2015–16 has been gauged by the performance of Australia’s Winning Edge-funded sports against their performance targets and the effective delivery of AIS support, funding and sport science sport medicine services to athletes, teams and NSOs.

Our Results

Table 4: ASC performance against Win deliverables



Supporting statement

33 NSOs received high performance funding to implement high performance plans1,2

Achieved 100 percent


33 priority NSOs were funded to implement high performance plans in 2015–16.

More than 20 world champions1

Achieved 100 percent


20 able bodied athletes or teams and 29 Paralympic athletes or teams hold world championship titles in 2015–16.

750 athletes received dAIS funding to help achieve their high performance outcomes1,2

Result 96 percent


735 dAIS offers were made with 721 athletes accepting dAIS funding. In addition, a further 20 athletes met performance criteria but were not offered funding due to means test considerations.

1500 Australia’s Winning Edge athletes being tracked through the national Athlete Management System (AMS) 1,2

Achieved 100 percent


2,603 elite athletes were tracked through the AMS.

20 high performance innovation projects funded that focus on improving sport performance1,2

Achieved 100 percent


27 high performance innovation projects were completed in 2015–16.

80% of AIS assigned sports science sports medicine servicing meets the deliverables agreed with NSOs1



25 out of 30 sports (83%) agreed that the AIS sports science sports medicine services had met agreed deliverables.

80% of Australia’s Winning Edge-funded sports rated by the AIS as achieving the performance targets1,2


Significant progress - 73 percent

Significant Progress

30 out of 41 (73%) Australia’s Winning Edge-funded sports achieved their targets in benchmark events during 2015–16, an increase from 70% in 2014–15.

90% of the projects identified within the NIN review recommendation implementation schedule are completed on time1,2


Achieved 76 percent

Significant Progress

90% of recommendations due for completion in year 1 are on track, while recommendations scheduled for year 2 are estimated to be 50% complete.

  1. 2015-19 Corporate Plan and 2015-16 Annual Operational Plan
  2. Portfolio Budget Statements 2015-16

The AIS has successfully delivered a number of key initiatives under the Win pillar in 2015-16, including provision of funding to 33 NSOs, with more than $102.4 million in high performance funding distributed. A total of 73% of Australia’s Winning Edge funded sports achieved their targets in benchmark events[1]during 2015–16, which although less than the target of 80%, represents an increase from 70% reported in 2014–15. Under the Australia’s Winning Edge measurement criteria,[2]there were 20 able bodied world champions in 2015–16, including 15 athletes or teams which have been crowned world champion between July 2015 and June 2016 and a further five athletes who continue to reign as world champion from 2014–15 because their sport has not held a benchmark event. For Paralympic sports, there were 24 new world champion athletes or teams and four athletes who continue to hold the world championship title.

Under the dAIS program, 755 athletes were identified as meeting the performance criteria. A small number of athletes were either ineligible to receive grants due to means testing or elected not to accept dAIS offers for other reasons, resulting in 721 athletes receiving the $12.1 million allocated through grants in 2015–16. As of June 2016, over 2,600 athletes are being tracked through the national AMS and 2,299 athletes are registered on myAISplaybook, an online resource developed as part of the Personal Excellence Program providing support and guidance for elite athletes.

The AIS successfully delivered 27 innovation projects, exceeding the target of 20. Project examples include the supply of performance optimised athlete tools for Paralympic athletes, research and design of world leading sports technology and equipment, and the modernisation of a Race Analysis Video System to incorporate tracking technology and improved accuracy for coaches and athletes. In addition, 83% of sports receiving sports science and sports medicine support from the AIS reported that these services were meeting agreed deliverables, against a target of 80%. These actions demonstrate the continued focus of the AIS to provide coordinated and targeted support to high performance athletes.

The ASC has continued to lead the implementation of recommendations from the National Institute Network (NIN) Review and more than 90% of recommendations due by December 2015 have been completed. Outstanding actions are on average 50% complete and it is expected that a large number of recommendations will be finalised during the 2016–17 NSO annual planning and assessment process. In June 2016 the AIS conducted a review of progress and as a result the implementation schedule has been updated to better reflect high performance priorities leading into the Rio Olympics Games.

In the latter part of 2015–16, the AIS Future Directions panel convened to assess the current operating model of the AIS in the context of the Australian high performance system. This project will continue into 2016–17, assisting the AIS to maintain its focus post-Rio on continuous improvement and the effective delivery of high performance sport outcomes for Australia.


[1] Benchmark events include the world championship event or equivalent for: all Olympic & Paralympic disciplines; non Olympic disciplines in Foundation sports; and peak events for other able bodied Australia’s Winning Edge sports.
[2] Where an athlete is crowned world champion in multiple events or disciplines the athlete is only counted once for the purpose of the Australia’s Winning Edge target.