Seventy-two of our most talented athletes have today been extended the offer of National Athlete Support Structure (NASS) membership by Athletics Australia.

Capturing Beijing 2015 medallists Fabrice Lapierre (NSW, long jump) and Jared Tallent (Vic, race walk), as well as the Olympic champion Sally Pearson (Qld, 100m hurdles), the NASS is a high performance system that provides support to individual athletes who have the highest potential to contribute to the goals of the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Winning Edge.

This year, 137 athletes achieved a standard that earned their consideration by the Selection Panel, with four more to be offered membership for the upcoming period when compared to 2014-2015 (68 athletes).

Twelve athletes will become new members of the NASS and a further ten athletes within the system already will be elevated to a higher level of support.

“This year has seen Australian athletes performing at an impressive level and as a result the Selection Panel were able to consider almost 140 athletes for membership, which is a great result for the future of the sport. It makes inclusion hard-earned and ensures that athletes are aware of their need to keep improving to maintain their membership,” Simon Nathan, Athletics Australia High Performance Director, said.

“On the basis of the talent identified, we have decided to support more able-bodied athletes than ever before. We have elevated the membership level of a number of athletes within the program too. I am confident that this will assist in our efforts to deliver a strong result at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the IAAF World Junior Championships next year.

“Looking beyond 2016, we are also working toward the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle and for this reason we have extended membership to a broad group of young talent that can take us through the coming years strongly. There are more athletes at the ‘Development’ level than ever before.”

A further 22 athletes, including Jana Pittman (Vic) and Tamsyn Manou (Vic), will be extended the offer of membership to the Gold Coast GOLD Relay Program, made possible by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association. This program is designed to provide support to relay squads as they build toward success at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Athletes supported by the NASS will be assigned an Athlete Performance Advisor in the Athletics Australia office, providing a clear line of communication between the national body, the athlete in question and their personal coach and support network. Our partners in the state institute and sports academy network will provide assistance in developing sound daily training environments and other high performance support services.

Each membership level will also be provided with benefits aligned to their membership level, with further details on what is included detailed within the NASS Selection Policy here.

National Athlete Support Structure
Podium (4): Fabrice Lapierre (NSW), Kim Mickle (WA), Sally Pearson (Qld), Jared Tallent (Vic)

Podium Potential (42): Dane Bird-Smith (Qld), Joel Baden (Vic), Brianna Beahan (WA), Damien Birkinhead (Vic), Alana Boyd (Qld), Zoe Buckman (Vic), Robbie Crowther (Qld), Matthew Denny (Qld), Melissa Duncan (Vic), Chris Erickson (Vic), Henry Frayne (Qld), Ryan Gregson (NSW), Benn Harradine (Qld), Madeline Heiner (NSW), Tanya Holliday (SA), Nicholas Hough (NSW), Michelle Jenneke (NSW), Nina Kennedy (WA), Regan Lamble (Vic), Brittany McGowan (Qld), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic), Liz Parnov (WA), Eleanor Patterson (Vic), Hamish Peacock (Tas), Emma Philippe (WA), Joshua Ralph (NSW), Jeffrey Riseley (Vic), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT), Brett Robinson (Vic), Alex Rowe (Vic), Dani Samuels (NSW), Michael Shelley (Qld), Beki Smith (NSW), Steve Solomon (NSW), Brandon Starc (NSW), Brooke Stratton (Vic), Jess Trengove (SA), Mitchell Watt (Qld), Lisa Weightman (Vic), Eloise Wellings (NSW), Lauren Wells (ACT), Julian Wruck (Qld)

Medical Support (2): Matthew Outzen (NSW), Josh Robinson (NSW)

Development (24): Naa Anang (Qld), Angus Armstrong (NSW), Jenny Blundell (NSW), Nathan Brill (Vic), Luke Cann (Vic), Josh Clarke (NSW), Cedric Dubler (Qld), Georgia Griffith (Vic), Jack Hicking (NSW), Alex Hulley (NSW), Hannah Joye (Qld), Kurtis Marschall (SA), Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Ella Nelson (NSW), Zak Patterson (Vic), Courtney Powell (Vic), Cassie Purdon (Qld), Darcy Roper (Qld), Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Kate Spencer (NSW), Sophie Stanwell (NSW), Jake Stein (NSW), Louis Stenmark (NSW), Georgia Wassall (NSW)

Gold Coast GOLD Relay Program (30):
(NASS members listed in italics)
– M 4x100m Relay: Josh Clarke (NSW), Tom Gamble (Qld), Jack Hale (Tas), Alex Hartmann (Qld), Ben Jaworski (NSW), Jin Su Jung (NSW), Isaac Ntiamoah (NSW), Trae Williams (Qld)

– W 4x100m Relay: Melissa Breen (ACT), Monica Brennan (Qld), Samantha Geddes (NSW), Ella Nelson (NSW), Sally Pearson (Qld), Ashleigh Whittaker (Vic)

– M 4x400m Relay: Sam Baird (Vic), Alex Beck (Qld), Craig Burns (Qld), Steve Solomon (NSW), Louis Stenmark (NSW), Luke Stevens (Vic), Tristan Thomas (Tas)

– W 4x400m Relay: Jess Gulli (Vic), Tamsyn Manou (Vic), Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Lyndsay Pekin (WA), Jana Pittman (NSW), Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Caitlin Sargent (Qld), Jessica Thornton (NSW), Lauren Wells (ACT)
Additional Notes:
– National Athlete Support Structure membership has been offered to able-bodied athletes at this time. Para-athletes will be considered after the IPC Athletics World Championships.

– National Athlete Support Structure membership commences on 1 October 2015. It will be reviewed, with the possible addition of new athletes, at the conclusion of the Australian Athletics Championships.

– Twelve athletes are new National Athlete Support Structure members: Anang, Armstrong, Beahan, Hulley, Lamble, Lapierre, Marschall, Patterson, Roper, Rubie, Stenmark, Wellings,

– Ten athletes have had their National Athlete Support Structure membership level elevated: Baden, Birkinhead, Bird-Smith, Denny, Heiner, Kennedy, Philippe, Samuels, Starc, Weightman

– The voting members of the NASS Selection Panel were High Performance Director Simon Nathan, Head Coach Craig Hilliard, Paralympic Program Manager Andrew Faichney and Junior High Performance Manager Sara Mulkearns.

– Shaun Creighton (lawyer, former Australian representative) and Dean Kenneally (AIS Deputy Director of High Performance) acted as independent observers to ensure the criteria of the Selection Policy was upheld.