Powered By


A key element of the Australia’s High Performance strategy is to identify our high-potential athletes and ensure they receive the right support at the right time on their pathway to the senior team ad onto the podium.

Athlete Categories have been developed in conjunction between the AIS and Olympic Sports to provide a consistent basis, both within and across sports, to:

  • Identify the athletes with the greatest potential to contribute to Australia’s high performance targets;
  • Track their performance over time;
  • Inform the prioritisation of support to these athletes.

To inform the swimming specific nominations to the Athlete Categories, Swimming Australia (SA) has developed the SA Athlete Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2020-2024. SA will review its categorisation nominations in September each year, after the annual domestic season and annual senior international benchmark events.

SA will use the outcome of the categorisation process to:

  • Nominate athletes to the AIS’s Athlete Categories;
  • Inform SA recommendations made to the National Institute Network (NIN) regarding the provision of support and scholarships as required, noting that not all Institutes utilise the Athlete Categories system;
    • Prioritise:
      • SA’s recommendations around the allocation of Commonwealth Government support through the dAIS scheme (direct athlete support) which is administered by the AIS; and
      • SA support which may include access to financial support, camps and competition travel support, access to the AIS/SA National Training Centre services and facilities

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

Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2020 – 2024:

The SA Athlete Categorisation Nomination Guidelines 2020 – 24 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 Athlete Categories is achievement of the performance standards as outlined in the Guidelines. SA acknowledges that there may be swimmers who are not currently categorised, but who may go on to contribute to the targets. When these athletes meet the required performance standards, they will be proposed for inclusion when the annual review of nominations occurs.