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AIS helps young elite athletes Start Strong in sport

26 February 2024

Australia’s future sporting stars are kick-starting their athletics careers alongside their parents through the AIS Start Strong in High Performance Sport educational program.

Child gymnast balances on beam.
14-year-old gymnast Jobey Mok and his father Jason have joined the Start Strong program.

Australia’s future Olympians and Paralympians are learning how to navigate the world of high performance sport alongside their parents thanks to the AIS Start Strong in High Performance Sport program (Start Strong).

Delivered through 8-week terms of online modules, Start Strong helps pathway, emerging and developing athletes and their parents learn about Australia’s high performance system and how to achieve sustainable success by learning about topics such as wellbeing, values, and overcoming obstacles.

It is designed for athletes considered to be in the early stages of their sporting career and in the first two years in the high performance system.

Jason Mok joined Start Strong in January alongside his 14-year-old son Jobey, and said he already feels more confident supporting Jobey through his gymnastic pursuits.

“It has been helpful to share experiences and stories with other families and parents going through similar challenges with their athlete children, alongside the usual adolescent challenges,” Jason said.

“The webinars have been super helpful. I’ve received outstanding advice, encouragement and ideas to consider as I help Jobey navigate the daunting high performance sporting world.”

Jobey said his favourite part of the program so far has been the ‘Athlete self-care’ module where he learned the importance of listening to his body and having balance in life.

Start Strong is the second stage of the On Track to Win Well tool which is based on a 400m athletics track and highlights the importance of providing holistic development opportunities at the right stage of an athlete’s journey.

Athletes and parents can join the Start Strong program at any time, with the third term, ‘Expanding my Future Options’, beginning in March.

“I would tell anyone considering signing themself or their child up to the program to get to it! It’s well worth the time and effort,” Jason said.

To register or learn more visit the AIS Start Strong in High Performance Sport webpage.

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