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High performance athletes ready to make their mark in the corporate world

16 May 2023

Ten high performance athletes are set to pursue a new passion after being accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 2023 Virtual Internship Program.

Two judokas competing
Josh Katz (in white) is one of three Judo athletes to be accepted into the AIS 2023 Virtual Internship Program.

Now in its second iteration, the program offers athletes the chance to gain invaluable work experience that’s flexible, accessible and works around their demanding schedules.

In the coming months athletes including two-time Paralympian Sam Carter, Australian Diamonds netballer Amy Parmenter and dual Olympic judoka Katharina Häcker will connect with companies around the world to help them prepare for their post-athletic careers.

Josh Katz is one of three Judo athletes to be accepted into the program and is hoping the internship will help him grow his start-up business, a project aimed at helping school children and young athletes achieve their goals.

“I am very excited to participate in the virtual internship to learn first-hand from experienced entrepreneurs and gain insights into the skills and knowledge required to grow a small business.

“I would like to try and focus on developing my marketing and networking skills...learning how to establish a solid business foundation will be really helpful for my own career.”

Combat Australia’s Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Manager Sarah Conlon said finding work experience that offers the ‘right fit’ can be challenge and this program helps remove that barrier.

“It’s extremely important to place athletes in safe environments...that will provide challenges and learnings in a new setting.”

For Hockey Australia’s development player Emily Robson, she’s looking forward to pursuing her passion in environmental science to help create a low-emission future.

“I’m excited to learn how important environmental issues are being tackled in an industry setting and being able to connect with a company internationally while still competing in Australia.”

GIANTS netballer Tilly McDonell is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Psychological Science and said this opportunity presents a great steppingstone.

“I am really passionate about social justice and equality, particularly with respect to equal access to care and opportunities in the community.  I am really looking forward to being a part of the Virtual Internship Program and having the opportunity to gain invaluable skills for life beyond netball.”

Delivered through the AIS Professional Development Team, the program forms part of the AIS’s commitment to support athletes with their career transition by offering crucial work experience to enhance employment opportunities.

Athletes are also offered tailored support throughout the program and are paired with an intern experience manager and internship coach.

Those interested in undertaking a virtual internship can email

AIS 2023 Virtual Internship Program participants

  • Nicholas Calvert (Squash)
  • Sam Carter (Athletics)
  • Maeve Coughlan (Judo)
  • Katharina Häcker (Judo)
  • Josh Katz (Judo)
  • Callum McClusky (Triathlon)
  • Tilly McDonell (Netball)
  • Gabriella Palm (Water Polo)
  • Amy Parmenter (Netball)
  • Emily Robson (Hockey)
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