Australian Institute of Sport
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a sports training institution in Australia. The Institute's headquarters were opened in 1981 and are situated in Canberra (the capital city of Australia). The 66-hectare site campus is in the northern suburb of Bruce, but some of the institute's programs are located in other Australian cities. The AIS is a division of the Australian Sports Commission.
Two reports were the basis for developing the AIS - The role, scope and development of recreation in Australia (1973) by John Bloomfield and Report of the Australian Sports Institute Study Group (1975) chaired by Allan Coles. The need of the AIS was compounded in 1976 when the Australian Olympic team failed to win an Olympic gold medal in Montreal, which was regarded as a national embarrassment for Australia. The Institute's well-funded programs (and more generally the generous funding for elite sporting programs by Australian and State Governments) have been regarded as a major reason for Australia's recent success in international sporting competitions.
A brief overview of the history of the AIS follows:
|1980||Establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) announced by Hon. Robert Ellicott, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment on 25 January|
|1981||AIS officially opened by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser on 26 January (Australia Day).|
|Don Talbot appointed inaugural Director of the AIS and Kevan Gosper Chairman of the AIS Board.|
|Eight founding sports were basketball, gymnastics, netball, swimming, tennis, track and field, football, and weightlifting|
|1982||Commonwealth Games, Brisbane, Australia- 37 current and former AIS athletes competed three sports and won 12 gold, 12 silver and 7 bronze medals. Australia won 107 medals.|
|1983||Facility development - Gymnastics training hall, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and swimming complex completed|
|1984||Facility development - Frank Stewart Training Centre for netball, basketball and weightlifting completed|
|Diving program in Brisbane and hockey program in Perth established|
|Dr John Cheffers appointed Director of the AIS|
|Olympics Games, Los Angeles, United States - 33 current and former competed in four sports and won 5 silver and 2 bronze medals. Australia won 24 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Karen Phillips (Swimming)|
|1985||Squash program in Brisbane and men's water polo and rowing in Canberra established|
|Facility development - Sports Science and Sports Medicine, Halls of Residence and administration buildings completed|
|Professor John Bloomfield replaces Kevan Gosper as AIS Chairman.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Michele Pearson (Swimming)|
|1986||Men's cricket program in Adelaide established|
|Commonwealth Games, Edinburgh, Scotland - 75 current and former AIS athletes competed in five sports and won 19 gold, 16 silver and 17 bronze medals. Australia won 121 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - James Galloway (Rowing)|
|1987||Cycling program in Adelaide established|
|Announcement of the merger of Australian Sports Commission and AIS .|
|Ronald Harvey appointed Director of the AIS|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Kerry Saxby (Track and field)|
|1988||Rugby Union program in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra established|
|Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea - 118 current and former athletes competing in thirteen sports and won 1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze medals. Australia won 14 medals.|
|Paralympic Games, Seoul, South Korea - 1 current athlete and won 2 gold medals. Australia won 96 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Kerry Saxby (Track and field)|
|1989||Facility development - AIS canoe facility opened on the Gold Coast|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Kerry Saxby (Track and field)|
|1990||Men's volleyball program in Sydney established|
|Robert de Castella appointed Director of the AIS|
|National Sport Information Centre launched|
|Commonwealth Games, Auckland, New Zealand - 87 current and former AIS athletes competed in six sports and won 25 gold, 25 silver and 27 bronze medals. Australia won 162 medals|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Steve McGlede (Track cycling)|
|1991||Oceania Olympic Training Centre established in Canberra|
|Men's Road Cycling program established in Canberra|
|Lifeskills for Elite Athletes Program (LEAP) commenced|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Linley Frame (Swimming)|
|1992||Olympic Games Barcelona - 139 current and former athletes competed in thirteen sports and won 3 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals. Australia won 27 medals.|
|Golf program in Melbourne program established|
|Paralympic Games Barcelona - 12 current and former athletes competed in two sports and won 10 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze medals. Australia won 76 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Clint Robinson (Flatwater canoeing)|
|1993||Women's Road Cycling in Canberra and Women's Softball in Brisbane programs established|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - World Junior Female Basketball Team and Men's Track Cycling Pursuit Team|
|1994||Commonwealth Games Victoria - 87 current and former AIS athletes competed five sports and won 35 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals. Australia won 184 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Australian Women's Hockey Team|
|1995||Mountain Biking program in Canberra established|
|John Boultbee appointed as AIS Director|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Shane Kelly (Track cycling)|
|1996||Atlanta Olympic Games - 207 current and former AIS athletes competed in thirteen sports and won 4 gold, 7 silver and 17 bronze medals. Australia won 41 medals.|
|Atlanta Paralympic Games - 26 current and former AIS athletes competed in seven sports and won 22 gold, 22 silver and 5 bronze medals. Australia won 106 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Megan Still and Kate Slatter (Rowing)|
|1997||Boxing, Wrestling, Archery, Shooting in Canberra and Australian Football in Melbourne programs established.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year - Louise Sauvage (Track and field)|
|1998||Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur - 138 current and former AIS athletes competed in twelve sports and won 34 gold, 29 silver and 21 bronze medals. Australia won 200 medals.|
|Winter Olympic Games Nagano - 8 athletes competed in three sports and won 1 bronze medal for Australia.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Michael Klim (Swimming)|
|1999||AIS Athlete of the Year – Michael Klim (Swimming)|
|2000||Olympic Games Sydney - 319 current and former athletes competed in nineteen sports and won 8 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze medals. Australia won 58 medals.|
|Paralympic Games Sydney - 54 current and former athletes won 29 gold, 17 silver and 15 bronze medals. Australia won 149 medals.|
|Sailing and Slalom Canoeing in Sydney, and camps based Women's Cricket and triathlon programs established.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Simon Fairweather ( Archery)|
|2001||Michael Scott appointed Director of the AIS|
|Rugby League (decentralised) and Alpine Skiing for Athletes with Disabilities Programs established.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Petria Thomas (Swimming)and Philippe Rizzo (Gymnastics)|
|2002||Winter Olympics Salt Lake City - 23 current and former athletes competed in five sports and won 2 gold medals. Australia won 2 medals.|
|Winter Paralympics Salt Lake City - 6 current and former athletes competed in one sport and won 6 gold and 1 silver medal. Australia won 7 medals.|
|Commonwealth Games Manchester - 168 current and former athletes competed in fifteen sports and won 45 gold, 23 silver and 34 bronze medals. Australia won 207 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Petria Thomas (Swimming)|
|2003||Facility development – Archery Centre and AIS Rowing Centre extension opened. AIS Golf facility located at Moonah Links, near Rye on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula opened.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Nathan Baggaley (Flatwater canoeing)|
|2004||Olympic Games Athens - 289 current and former athletes competed in twenty sports and won 10 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals. Australia won 49 medals.|
|Paralympic Games Athens - 47 current and former athletes won 13 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze medals. Australia won 100 medals.|
|The Cricket Academy moves to Brisbane.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Petria Thomas (Swimming) and Ryan Bayley (Track cycling)|
|2005||Professor Peter Fricker appointed Director of the AIS|
|Facility development - New extension to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Diving dry land training facility at the Sleeman Centre in Chandler, Queensland opened.|
|AIS/AVF Beach Volleyball National Centre of Excellence launched|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Peter Robertson (Triathlon) and Robin Bell (slalom canoeing)|
|2006||Winter Olympics Torino - 23 current and former athletes competed in six sports and won 1 gold and 1 bronze medal. Australia won 3 medals.|
|Winter Paralympics Torino - 9 current and former athletes competed in one sport and won 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. Australia won 2 medals.|
|Commonwealth Games Melbourne - 177 current and former athletes competed in thirteen sports and won 42 gold, 34 silver and 34 bronze medals. Australia won 222 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Philippe Rizzo (Gymnastics)|
|2007||Facility development - AIS Hub opened. The AIS hub features a 110-metre indoor running track (with jumping pit), new physiology laboratories and an enhanced strength and conditioning gymnasium. New AIS Athlete Residences opened.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Nathan Deakes (Track and field) and Anna Meares (Track cycling)|
|2008||Olympic Games Beijing - 263 current and former AIS athletes won 7 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze medals. Australia won 46 medals.|
|Paralympic Games Beijing - 47 current and former AIS athletes won 18 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals. Australia won 79 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Ken Wallace (Flatwater canoeing) and Heath Francis (Track and field)|
|2009||AIS Athlete of the Year – Brenton Rickard (Swimming) and Emma Moffatt (Triathlon)|
|2010||Olympic Winter Games Vancouver - 22 current and former AIS athletes won 1 gold, and 1 silver medal|
|Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver - 9 current AIS athletes won 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. Australia won a total of 4 medals.|
|Commonwealth Games New Delhi - 158 current and former (including Paralympic scholarship holders) competed in 12 sports and won 88 medals; 41 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze. Australia won a total of 177 medals.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Lydia Lassila (Freestyle skiing)|
|2011||-European Training Centre opened in Varese, Italy|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Anna Meares (Track cycling)|
|2012||Matt Favier commenced as Director of the AIS in March.|
|Australia's Winning Edge policy provides a new leadership direction for the AIS, with national sports organisations taking full responsibility for AIS sports programs at the end of 2013.|
|AIS Athlete of the Year – Alicia Coutts (Swimming) and Tom Slingsby (Sailing)|
|2013||AIS Athlete of the Year - Caroline Buchanan (Cycling) and Kim Crow (Rowing) |
|2014||Australian Institute of Sport launched a new brand and logo |
The AIS employs a number of staff who primarily work in Sports Science and Sports Medicine, which includes disciplines such as sports nutrition, performance analysis, skill acquisition, physiology, recovery, biomechanics, athlete career education, strength and conditioning, psychology, sports medicine, physical therapies, talent identification and applied performance research.
There are a number of sculptures located throughout the Bruce Campus, such as 'Acrobats', 'Gymnast', 'Pole Vaulter' and 'Soccer Players' by John Robinson and the 'Swimmer' by Guy Boyd. After the Sydney 2000 Olympics, two of the three sculptures - ' Gymnast' and 'Wheelchair Basketballer' - that were located on the Sydney Tower Eye prior to the Olympics were installed at the AIS.
The AIS Arena is a 5,200 capacity indoor stadium which has been used for sports such as basketball, gymnastics and weightlifting as well as music concerts. Directly adjacent to, but not strictly part of the Institute is the 25,000 capacity outdoor Canberra Stadium which has hosted matches of all the major forms of football played in Australia.
In 2005, 2009 and 2010 the Institute won awards at the prestigious Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Awards. These awards were given in recognition of the daily public tours that are available. Each tour, which takes in several different buildings of the Institute as well as the arena and the Sportex zone, is led by an athlete currently training there.
Shortly after its inception in 1981, the AIS held a competition for a symbol that would depict the AIS aim of "achieving supremacy in sport". Over 500 designs were submitted. The winner was a design student from Bendigo in Victoria, Rose-Marie Derrico. Her design shows an athlete with hands clasped above the head in recognition of victory. The colours of the logo are red and blue, which are the same colours as the Australian flag.
On 3 February 2014, the AIS launched a new logo in line with its new direction as outlined in Winning Edge program that was launched in 2012. Landor Associates designed the new brand and logo. The gold in the brand representing Australia’s pursuit of gold. 
Up until 2013, the AIS offered scholarships to over 700 athletes each in a year across 36 programs in 26 different sports. Scholarships generally were all inclusive and included accommodation and food as well as coaching, competition travel, career and education support, and sports science and medicine services.
From 2014, the AIS no longer directly offered scholarships to athletes, however through ongoing AIS support of Australia's national sporting organisations, athletes will still be supported, housed and trained at the AIS.
In 2012, the AIS offers Scholarship programmes for the following sports:
- Artistic gymnastics, athletes with disabilities - swimming, athletics and winter sports, basketball, netball, rowing, football (men & women), tennis, swimming, track and field, volleyball (men) and water polo (women) administered from Canberra
- Diving, squash, softball and cricket (men & women) administered from Brisbane
- Sailing and slalom canoeing administered from Sydney
- Hockey administered from Perth
- Sprint canoeing, triathlon and BMX administered from the Gold Coast
- Road cycling, track cycling and beach volleyball administered from Adelaide
- Australian rules football, rugby union and rugby league are camps based programs
- Winter sports (in partnership with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia) administered from Melbourne
AIS teams also currently compete in the A-league National Youth League football competition and the Australian Volleyball League.
Many prominent Australian athletes have taken up AIS scholarships. In 2001, the AIS established the 'Best of the Best' Award to recognise highly performed AIS athletes. As of 2011, the following athletes have been recognised - Alisa Camplin, Robert De Castella, John Eales, Simon Fairweather, Neil Fuller, Bridgette Gusterson, Rechelle Hawkes, Shane Kelly, Luc Longley, Michelle Martin, Glenn McGrath, Michael Klim, Michael Milton, Clint Robinson, Louise Sauvage, Kate Slatter, Michael ClarkeZali Steggall, Mark Viduka, Vicki Wilson, Todd Woodbridge, Lauren Jackson, Chantelle Newbery, Petria Thomas, Stuart O'Grady, Kerry Saxby-Junna, Jamie Dwyer, Anna Meares, Malcolm Page, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Cowdrey. Besides this recognition, the AIS Annual Awards include AIS Athlete of the Year and AIS Junior Athlete of the Year. The Australian Institute of Sport Alumni highlights the many prominent Australian athletes that the AIS has assisted.
AIS was established to provide high level coaching to Australian athletes. Since its establishment in 1981, the AIS has employed highly credentialed Australian and international coaches. Original coaches were - Bill Sweetenham and Dennis Pursley (swimming), Wilma Shakespear in netball, Adrian Hurley and Patrick Hunt (basketball), Peter Lloyd and Kazuyu Honda (gymnastics), Jimmy Shoulder (football), Ray Ruffels and Helen Gourlay (tennis), Kelvin Giles, Gary Knoke and Merv Kemp (track and field), and Lyn Jones (weightlifting).
Sports Medicine and Sport Science
AIS established sports medicine and sports science services and research programs when established in 1981. Dr Dick Telford was its first Co-ordinator of Sports Science and Medicine. Other notable staff have included: Dr Peter Fricker and Professor Allan Hahn.
Olympic Winter Institute of Australia
The AIS and the Australian Olympic Committee formed the Australian Institute of Winter Sports after the 1998 Winter Olympics. The organisation was renamed to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia on 1 July 2001. It provides training in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing (including aerial and mogul), snowboarding, short track speed skating and figure skating. It is also a partner with the AIS in skeleton (toboganning).
- Australian Sports Commission
- Australian Cricket Academy
- Australian Institute of Sport Football Program
- AIS Arena
- Australian Institute of Sport alumni
- "Australian Institute of Sport Director Appointed" (Press release). Australian Sports Commission. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "What is the AIS?". ausport.gov.au. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Role, scope and development of recreation in Australia (1973)
- Report of the Australian Sports Institute Study Group (1975)
- AIS Website Timeline
- Tuxworth, Jon (1 April 2012). "Favier plots formula for success". Canberra Times. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Mulvey, Paul (30 November 2012). "ASC to overhaul sports". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Dutton, Chris (17 November 2012). "Slingsby shares top gong with Coutts". Canberra Times. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Gaskin, Lee (15 November 2013). "Caroline Buchanan and Kim Crow dominate AIS awards". Canberra Times. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- Tuxworth, Jon (4 February 2014). "AIS chief says new branding will help raise funds for athletes". Canberra Times. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Winners 2000-2010 on the CCRTA website
- Tour Information from the Institute's website
- "Landor sees gold for AIS". B & T. 5 February 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- AIS Sports Programs
- AIS 'Best of the Best' Award
- Daly, John, Quest for Excellence : the Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1991
- Bloomfield, John, Australia's sporting success : the inside story, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2003
- Ferguson, Jim, More than sunshine and vegemite : success the Australian way, Halstead Press, Sydney, 2007
- Official website
- Olympic Winter Institute of Australia web site
- Australian Institute of Sport Annual Report 1981-1988
- Australian Sports Commission Annual Reports
- AIS sports A list of AIS Sports and their locations
- Sports funding: federal balancing act –Detailed summary of Australian Government funding and policies related to sport