The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is Australia's internationally acclaimed national centre of sports excellence for the training and development of elite athletes and teams.
Opened in 1981 in response to disappointing results from the Australian team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the AIS originally offered scholarships in eight sports, all based in Canberra.
Today, the AIS offers scholarships to 700 athletes each year in 35 separate programs covering 26 sports. We employ about 75 coaches to help these athletes achieve their goals. We also have scholarship programs for athletes with disabilities in athletics, skiing and swimming.
In addition to high performance coaching, the AIS gives athletes access to world-leading sports science and sports medicine services, state-of-the-art sports facilities, opportunities for national and international competition, and the chance to travel, work and study. It also offers a national network of advisers who help athletes with educational guidance, career planning, job searching and personal development to make sure they plan for life after sport.
While our main residential sports programs operate from a 65-hectare site in Canberra, there are also training programs in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Results from competitions such as the 2000 Sydney Olympics highlight the valuable contribution the AIS makes to Australia's sporting success. More than half of the 620-strong Sydney Olympic team were current or former AIS athletes, and they won 32 of Australia's record-breaking 58 medals.
It was the same at the 2000 Paralympics, with current or former AIS athletes winning almost half of the record 149 medals.
Beyond the Olympics, AIS athletes have gone on to become world champion cricketers, netball and rugby union players, NBA basketball players, English Premier Soccer League starters, Grand Slam tennis players and world champion aerial skiers, among many others.
The AIS is also an important tourist attraction in Canberra. Tours, sports camps and residential programs at the AIS give visitors the chance to meet some of the elite athletes, and see how they live and train.