ACT Academy of Sport

Since it was formed in 1989, the ACT Academy of Sport (ACTAS) has assisted elite and potentially elite ACT athletes in reaching their potential across a variety of sports. These sports include athletics, baseball, basketball, cycling, hockey, football, rowing, netball, rugby union, rugby league, cricket and orienteering, as well as a large number of individual athletes in archery, triathlon, judo, boxing, wrestling, squash, table tennis, power-lifting, equestrian and volleyball.

The ACTAS was established by the Federal Government and filled the gap for developing ACT athletes involved in non-AIS sports.

Early scholarship holders who went on to great performances include Bruce Hick (rowing), the Rogers brothers (cycling), the Powell sisters (hockey) and Angela Kennedy (swimming former World Record holder).

Since 1992 the ACTAS has assisted 62 athletes in becoming Olympians, with 25 of those athletes competing at more than one Olympic Games. 29 ACTAS athletes have participated in the Paralympic Games, with 17 competing in more than one Games. 20 staff members from the ACTAS have been support staff or coaches at both Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Representatives from the ACTAS competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics included Lisa Corrigan (athletics), Ged O’Mahoney (boxing), Oenone Wood (cycling), Matt D’Aquino (judo), Matthew Inabinet (shooting), Danny Ellis (cycling), Nicole Arrold and Sarah Young (hockey).

In total, ACTAS athletes have achieved 21 gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games. Olympic medals consist of 4 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze.

The ACTAS recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary and named its Top 20 Athletes of All Time. Some distinguished Olympians from this list include Katrina and Lisa Powell (four gold medals- hockey), Michael York (one silver and two bronze medals- hockey), Michael Rogers (cycling), Ben Hardy (volleyball), Bruce Hick and Jane Robinson (rowing), Carl Valeri (football) as well as Joanne Brown and Sally McCreedy (four bronze medals- softball).

Nowadays the mission of ACTAS is to support the development of ACTAS athletes and enable them to gain national team selection for their sport.

The ACTAS is committed to the long term development, health and wellbeing of its’ athletes. It aims to assist local and nationally identified athletes in gaining national team selection through embracing an athletic performance development model which allows athletes to mature as individuals through a competency based system.

The ACTAS is –

  • An endorsed AOC Olympic Training Centre
  • A member of the National Elite Sports Council (NESC)
  • An Endorsed Australian Sports Commission (ASC) National Training Centre and is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding between the ASC and NESC
  • Accredited under the National Sports Science Quality Assurance Program (NSSQA)
  • Partnered with the University of Canberra, Australian Catholic University (Canberra Campus) and the Australian National University under the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) program.

This means that the ACTAS is at the front line of support and development of ACT’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes.

The ACTAS is primarily funded by the ACT Government through Sport and Recreation Services and is partnered by a range of corporate sponsors and suppliers as well as the Australian Sports Commission through partner National Sporting Organisations and directly through its various National Talent Identification Programs.

To see the ACTAS website, click here>>>

Patrick Mills at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Photo: Getty Images