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Olympic gold medallist Emilee Cherry one of the coaches participating in the program.

Federal Government Back Female Coaches With ‘AIS Elevate Coach Program’

T
he Australian Institute of Sport has designed two new professional development pathways as part of their Elevate Coach program, in order to prioritise the progress of women in Australian high-performance sport. 

In collaboration with tertiary institutions, The AIS Elevate Coach program will provide professional development for two focus groups of pathway coaches; women coaches and former high-performance athletes now focused on coaching.

In total, the two programs consist of 47 coaches, of which 33 are women.

The AIS revealed that 28 coaches from 20 different sports are participating in the AIS Elevate Women Coach program, while former Rugby Sevens Olympic gold medallist Emilee Cherry is among five women and a total of 19 coaches chosen for the AIS Elevate Athlete2Coach program. 

Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, said: “Along with the leadership of the AIS, the Australian Government is committed to addressing the under-representation of women in other sporting roles, particularly coaching.”

According to Colbeck, the individuals selected for the programs are currently undertaking an intensive six-month course.

Colbeck says the program is part of a long-term vision to increase the diversity in Australian coaching positions, so the “make-up of Australia’s sporting leaders is more reflective of the athletes they guide and the nation they represent,” she said. 

Colbeck said: ” Many of these coaches will be dedicated to identifying and progressing our most talented young athletes and there is a huge incentive on the horizon with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics on home soil.”

Australian Sports Commission chair, Josephine Sukkar, said the new coaching programs are in addition to other AIS programs launched this year designed to elevate women leaders in sport.

Sukkar said: “The AIS currently has two other programs underway to support the advancement of women in leadership roles, the AIS Talent Program focused on women in sport science, technology engineering and medicine, and the AIS Accelerate program which aims to increase career pathway options in sport for retiring women athletes.”

“The Australian Sports Commission, including the AIS and Sport Australia, is determined to see more girls and women in sport, from playing fields to board rooms.

“We are focused on strategies and programs that can help attract, retain and elevate more women in sport, across all roles and all sports,” he said. 

The AIS Elevate Coach programs will be in collaboration with La Trobe University, University of Sydney and University of Queensland. 

In addition to these pathways, AIS CEO, Peter Conde, stated that this year the AIS has provided almost $130,000 in AIS Elevate Learning Grants to support the education and professional development of 43 Performance Pathway practitioners and coaches.

Conde said: “These staff are crucial in helping identify, develop, support and progress our most talented athletes.”

Selections for the two new AIS programs can be found on the AIS website.