Athlete Categorisation

Australia’s Winning Edge- Swimming Australia Athlete Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2017-2020

A key strategy in the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) Australia’s Winning Edge (AWE) 2012-2022 game plan to move from world class to world best, is to identify Australia’s athletes with the greatest potential to contribute to AWE targets and ensure they receive the right support at the right time in their pathway.

The AWE Athlete Categories provide a consistent basis, both within and across sports, to:

identify the athletes with the greatest potential to contribute to Winning Edge targets;
inform the prioritisation of support to these athletes; and
track athlete performance over time.

To inform the swimming specific nominations to the AWE Athlete Categories, Swimming Australia Ltd. (SAL) has developed this SAL Athlete Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2017-2020. SAL will review its categorisation nominations after the annual domestic season and annual senior international benchmark events.

The SAL Athlete Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2017–2020 apply to Olympic Pool, Olympic Open Water and Paralympic Swimmers who compete in an event on the Olympic or Paralympic Games program. To be prioritised for support an athlete must demonstrate potential for future success. Past results alone are not the sole consideration. The first requirement for a swimmer to be included in the AWE Athlete Categories is achievement of the performance standards as outlined in the Guidelines. SAL acknowledges that there may be swimmers who are not currently categorised, but who may go on to contribute to AWE targets. When these athletes meet the required performance standards, they will be proposed for inclusion when the biannual review of nominations occurs.

SAL will use the outcome of the categorisation process to:

nominate athletes to the AIS’s AWE Athlete Categories;
inform SAL recommendations made to the State Institutes/State Academies of Sport (SIS/SAS) regarding the provision of support (scholarships) as required, noting that not all Institutes utilise the AWE Athlete Categories
    SAL’s recommendations around the allocation of Commonwealth Government support through the dAIS scheme (direct athlete support) which is administered by the AIS; and
  SAL support which may include access to financial support, altitude training camps, non-benchmark competitions, selection for various event and skill specific training camps, access to the AIS/SAL National Training Centre services and facilities.


The hierarchy of AWE Athlete Categories will be used to inform (but may not determine) the prioritisation of the Swimming Australia, AIS and SIS/SAS high performance resources. It is important to note that the provision of services from the AIS and SIS/SAS is subject to available resources. Being an AWE categorised athlete does not automatically entitle an athlete to receive support from the AIS and/or SIS/SAS, and athletes within the same category may not receive the same level of support.

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