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What is the ASC?

Sculpture on Michelle Martin Walk at the Australian Institute of Sport
The AIS is a key component of the Australian Sports Commission.

Who we are

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is a corporate Commonwealth entity within the Australian Government’s Department of Health portfolio. It was established in 1985 and operates under the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989. The ASC is governed by a board of commissioners appointed by the Australian Government. The board determines the ASC’s overall direction, decides on actual allocation of resources and policy for delegated decisions, and is accountable to the Minister of Sport and to Parliament.

The ASC is focused on getting more Australians participating and excelling in sport, by:

  • delivering key programs in line with the Australian Government’s sport policy objectives;
  • providing financial support and other assistance to national sporting organisations to deliver participation and high performance results and improve their capability, sustainability and effectiveness; and
  • building collaboration, alignment and effectiveness within the Australian sport sector.

The ASC is administered from Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Bruce campus. Other offices are located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well at the AIS European Training Centre in Varese, Italy.

What we do

The ASC is Australia’s primary national sports administration and advisory agency, and the cornerstone of a wide-ranging sports system. On behalf of the Australian Government, the ASC plays a central leadership role in the development and operation of the Australian sports system, administering and funding innovative sport programs and providing leadership, coordination and support for the sport sector.

The ASC is recognised as a world leader in the development of high performance sport and sports participation. Services are provided in a range of fields including:

  • high performance coaching
  • sport sciences
  • sports information
  • sports management
  • facility management
  • education and resources
  • participation development
  • delivery of funding programs to national sporting organisations. 

Our purpose

The ASC aims to strengthen Australian sport – to enable more people to play sport and Australian athletes to succeed on the world stage.

Our plans

The ASC’s corporate plan for 2017-21 sets the direction, strategies and broad framework that allow the ASC to meet its statutory objectives and achieve its outcomes for government.

The ASC's goals are built around three interconnected pillars:

1: High Performance

2: Participation

3: Sport Industry Growth

How we operate

The ASC plays a central leadership role in the development and operations of the Australian sport sector, building collaboration, alignment and effectiveness.

The ASC works directly with sporting organisations, peak bodies, the Office for Sport, state and territory departments, institutes and academies of sport, and the business sector.
Now and into the future, the ASC will focus on three key roles: leading, enabling and investing.

The ASC will continue to evolve its leadership role within the sector, taking a whole of sector view, understanding the systems in which we operate both here and overseas, and the challenges and trends which will impact on operations. We will champion the value of sport across Governments and the broader community.

We will work with partners to improve the capacity and capability of sports organisations to enable them to thrive as viable operations and maximise their contribution to high performance and participation outcomes. We will translate and share analytics and insights for partners to drive improved decision making.

We will invest in organisations to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, targeting our investment to those who are ready to deliver, and holding them accountable for achieving results.

Sport in Australia

Australians love sport – it is a defining characteristic of our national culture and one that brings our diverse population together. Whether it is for the friendships, fitness, the thrill of the competition or the pure love of the game, sport is important to Australians. We are fiercely proud of our international sporting reputation and respected for the achievements of our athletes on the world stage.

It is for these reasons the Australian Government is a significant investor in sport. This investment is wide ranging and includes: helping our best athletes represent Australia; getting more Australians – particularly young Australians – active in sport; protecting the integrity of sport; and hosting major international events such as the forthcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The benefit to Australians from this investment is significant: economic, health, social and community.

But Australia’s rich sporting tradition, and the significant value derived from it, is facing challenges.

Australians are increasingly time poor. Demographic, social and economic factors are influencing who plays sport, how they play and what sports are being played. With these changes new preferences are emerging; Australians want greater flexibility, more tailored products and sports that suit their lifestyle. The ASC must be at the forefront of helping sport thrive in a changing environment. The challenge is to ensure that sporting organisations and clubs remain relevant, grow and prosper. Play.Sport.Australia., released in 2015, is our game plan to get more Australians, particularly young Australians, playing sport more often.

On the international stage, competition is constantly intensifying and improving. Many other nations have now replicated our innovations, tapped into our expertise and made strategic investments, and as a result have become stronger competitors in international sport. To retain our pre-eminent position in world sport, the Australian high performance system needs to do things smarter and better. Australia’s Winning Edge 2012–2022 is our strategy for moving from world class to world best and is focused on ensuring that the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australia sports system remains on top of the game in the current environment.

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.