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Star-studded lineup announced for AIS program supporting retired female athletes

26 March 2024

Some of the nation’s most successful female Olympians, Paralympians, and World Champions have been announced as part of 2024 AIS Accelerate, a program designed to retain the experience and knowledge of retired female athletes in sport.

Former netballer Natalie Medhurst has joined the 2024 AIS Accelerate program. Source: Getty Images

The Australian Institute of Sport is continuing its commitment to retain retiring female athletes in the sports industry, announcing an exciting new lineup for year four of the AIS Accelerate Program.

The 15-strong group features the likes of three-time world netball champion Natalie Medhurst, Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Emma Snowsill, and Paralympic swimmer Monique Murphy, with the group boasting an incredible 12 Olympic Games, 16 Commonwealth Games, and 24 World Championships between them.

AIS Accelerate, which is run with the support of the Office for Women, is an educational and professional development program aiming to support retired female athletes looking to transition to a career within the sports industry.

With alumni including Rowing Australia CEO Sarah Cook, former Port Adelaide Head of AFLW Juliet Haslam, and Paris 2024 Australian Olympic Chef de Mission Anna Meares, AIS Accelerate also provides a crucial networking and support community for female athletes.

“The sustainable success of Australian sport depends on our ability as a system to attract, develop, and retain diverse and outstanding talent,” Australian Sports Commission EGM of AIS Performance Matti Clements said.

“Our female athletes finish their sporting careers with an incredible amount of knowledge, experience, and leadership skills, so it’s crucial we create the environment and opportunities for them to forge a career in sport once their athletic careers come to an end.”

Natalie Medhurst, who retired from international netball in 2020 with three world championships and a gold and silver medal from the Commonwealth Games, said sharing the experience of AIS Accelerate with female athletes representing 12 different sports will be invaluable.

“Since retiring from elite netball I definitely have felt as though I have a lot of catching up to do to assist me in achieving my career ambitions within sport,” Medhurst said.

“The exciting part of the AIS Accelerate program is the opportunity to fully understand my strengths and knowledge gained from 17 years in the industry as an athlete and find the confidence to progress in high performing environments and deliver what I believe I am capable of.”

For more information about AIS Accelerate and past and present participants, visit the AIS website here.

2024 AIS Accelerate Participants

  • Alison Bai, Tennis Australia
  • Amanda Tscharke, Table Tennis Australia
  • Amber Halliday, Rowing Australia
  • Bree Bryant (nee Cole), Diving Australia
  • Bronte Barratt, Swimming Australia
  • Chelsea Forkin, Softball Australia
  • Emma George, Athletics Australia
  • Emma Snowsill, Triathlon Australia
  • Georgina Gotch, Rowing Australia
  • Kasey Brown, Squash Australia
  • Kylie Palmer, Swimming Australia
  • Monique Murphy, Swimming Australia
  • Natalie Butler (nee Medhurst), Netball Australia
  • Rachel Orchard, Volleyball Australia
  • Rose Stackpole, Artistic Swimming Australia
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