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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 27/10/2021.

Applications Open for Women Athletes to Accelerate Careers

Applications are now open for the 2022 Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Accelerate Program, an initiative launched this year to support the leadership development of women athletes pursuing career options in sport.

The inaugural AIS Accelerate Program, involving 18 women from 17 different sports, is nearing completion and so applications for the 2022 intake will be available until 9 November 2021.

AIS Director of People Development and Wellbeing Matti Clements says the program has a career and leadership development focus, but also enables women athletes build a strong support network as they transition from their athletic lives and beyond.

“We need more gender diversity in the leadership ranks in Australian sport and programs like AIS Accelerate are tangible ways to ensure we retain the experience and skills of high performance women athletes when they finish their athletic careers,” Clements said.

“AIS Accelerate is about identifying the leadership skills that already exist in our high performance women athletes and providing them with the professional development to take the next step to become our future leaders in sport.”

The AIS Accelerate Program is funded by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and supported by Sport Australia as part of the Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) Program. WLIS is focused on helping women reach their leadership potential in sport, with $3.4m over four years provided by the Australian Government.

Paralympic gold medal cyclist Emily Petricola was able to balance competition in Tokyo with participation in the inaugural AIS Accelerate program. She encourages others to apply.

I can't think of anything more important as a current athlete than planning for a future after sport,” Petricola said.

“You sacrifice so much of your life to do what we do every day and for many important years where others are forging a career path. I feel so lucky to have been a part of a program like this working with such great experts to pave a path forward beyond my athletic career. AIS Accelerate seemed like the perfect offering to ensure I could keep my mind engaged in that space and help me plan for the types of roles I'll be looking to once I am retired as an athlete.”

Former South African Netball Captain and AIS Women Leading Sport Consultant Bronwyn Jonathan manages the AIS Accelerate Program. She says retaining the experience and skills of women high performance athletes after they retire is crucial to the continued success of Australian sport.

This program would've been a game changer for me when I was navigating my athletic career with the rest of my professional interests, so I am thrilled the AIS will once again be offering a tailored program that supports our talented women athletes.

“We had 18 women athletes from 17 different sports take part in the inaugural AIS Accelerate Program this year. The individualised approach and the shared high performance experiences in the group is undeniably a catalyst for personal transformation while also empowering these amazing women to pursue leadership roles in sport.”

Former and current podium level categorised athletes and/or a national team representative of a recognised funded sport are encouraged to apply. For more information about the eligibility criteria and to apply, please visit:

Supplied by AIS

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