Athlete development programs

In collaboration with the Community Sport Officer team, the Northern Territory Sports Academy (NTSA) will partner with Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs), Regional Councils and other stakeholders to design and implement processes, practices and programs specific to supporting the long-term development and involvement of athletes in sport across the Territory.

NTSA Athlete Development Programs are aimed at recruiting and retaining all athletes (preventing drop out) and progressing the genuinely talented.

For more detailed information on any of the NTSA Athlete Development Programs, outlined below, please contact the NTSA via email NTSA.PathwaysServices@nt.gov.au.

RegionHowWhoWhatWhy
Darwin, Palmerston and rural areas Scheduled morning, afternoon, weekend and school holiday sessions at identified venues in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield. Any children 5 to 14 years of age that nominate to be in the program and have a signed parent/carer consent form. Blocks of fun and personally challenging activities focused on fundamental movement and foundation sporting skills competency through holistic development that encompasses wellbeing, resilience and leadership. Development of physical literacy facilitates engagement and retention of children and young people in sport and active recreation over the lifespan.
Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs Scheduled morning, afternoon, weekend and school holiday sessions at identified community and school locations.
Remote communities Intensive (e.g. 2-3 day) sessions scheduled 3-4 times per year.

The NTSA relies on volunteers and helpers to deliver and achieve the desired program outcomes.

Contact NTSA via email NTSA.PathwaysServices@nt.gov.au to receive regular program news and updates.

RegionHowWhoWhatWhy
Darwin, Palmerston and rural areas Scheduled morning, afternoon, weekend and school holiday sessions at identified venues in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield. 15 to 19 year olds nominated through the respective PSB, and vetted by the NTSA, that have signed athlete agreements. Blocks of sport based activities and education forums focused on holistic development of athletes and their coaches that target outcomes relating to competence, confidence, connection and character (4Cs). Effective coaching and training with the intent of achieving the 4Cs helps facilitate retention and improve the chances of young athletes achieving success in sport and life more broadly.
Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs Scheduled morning, afternoon, weekend and school holiday sessions at identified community and school locations. 15 to 19 year olds nominated through the respective Regional Sport Association (RSA), club or school, and vetted by the NTSA, that have signed athlete agreements.
Remote communities Intensive (e.g. 2-3 day) sessions scheduled 3-4 times per year. 15 to 19 year olds nominated through the respective regional council or school that have signed athlete agreements.

Contact NTSA via email NTSA.PathwaysServices@nt.gov.au to receive regular program news and updates.

The Northern Territory Sports Academy offers scholarships to Northern Territory athletes through the Individual Athlete Scholarship Program.

RegionHowWhoWhatWhy
All of NT Bespoke provision of available sport science and sport medicine services as required by the athlete when in the Northern Territory, as well as funding to help offset training and competition expenses.

National Sporting Organisation nationally categorised athletes from the Northern Territory on 12 month scholarship agreements.

Direct athlete servicing and funding support in accordance with identified needs in the athlete’s Individual Performance Plan. The National High Performance Sports Strategy 2024 requires system partners, including the Northern Territory Sports Academy to provide categorised athletes with national consistent minimum level of resourcing to help Australia achieve sustained sporting success at the highest levels.

Step 1
NTSA is notified in writing by respective Peak Sporting Bodies or National Sport Organisations of any NT athlete categorised on their National Athlete Categorisation Framework.
Where a National Sporting Organisation does not have a National Athlete Categorisation Framework, the NTSA will adopt an equivalent process to determine the athlete’s eligibility to apply for a scholarship.

Step 2
The athlete is invited to apply for an NTSA scholarship.

Step 3
In consultation with the applicant, coach and National Sport Organisations, various screening processes are undertaken. These include Medical, Electrocardiogram and Musculoskeletal and can also require a scholarship ‘trial’ period where further assessments can be made.

Step 4
An individual development and performance plan is drafted which incorporates coaching and performance services support.

Step 5
The application for scholarship along with the individual development and performance plan is approved or not by the NTSA Director.

Step 6
A scholarship agreement is drawn up and when signed by the athlete and the NTSA, the scholarship commences.

To find out more about the Individual Athlete Scholarship Program contact NTSA.PathwaysServices@nt.gov.au.

NTSA Athlete Scholarship

The NTSA offers scholarships to Northern Territory athletes. These athletes should be identified by their National Sporting Organisation with scholarships awarded under the National athlete categorization framework.

NTSA athlete scholarships are open to athletes who are from the Northern Territory and (where possible) representing the Northern Territory in competition.

A professional athlete who has a professional sport license (e.g. golf, triathlon) and/or is on a professional contract competition in a national or international league/championship side (e.g. AFL, NRL), is ineligible for the scholarship.

Assessment

Athletes are assessed under one of the five categories of the National Athlete Categorisation Framework:

Level 1. Podium

Athlete who had a medal performance at a world championship (or equivalent) event in the previous 24 months and is considered capable of a medal at the next world championship (or equivalent) event.

Level 2. Podium Ready

Athlete who placed fourth to eight at the most recent world championship (or equivalent) event and is considered capable of progressing to Podium in the next two years.

Level 3. Podium Potential

Athlete who is considered capable of progressing to at least Podium Ready in the next two years.

Level 4. Developing

Athlete who is considered capable of progressing to at least Podium Potential in the next two years. Athlete that has signed a contract with a team competing in a national professional competition (or better).

Level 5. Emerging

Athlete who is considered capable of progressing to at least ‘Developing’ in the next two years. Athlete with capability to achieve national professional competition (or better) status within one to three years.

Coach Requirements

The NTSA works in partnership with the nominated coach who will be required to have involvement in the NTSA Coach Development Program. Along with involvement within the program there will be additional planning and managing of other services for the coach.

For more information please see Coach Development and Scholarships.

Scholarship Process

The NTSA athlete scholarship application process follows the steps below:

Step 1. Athlete meets the selection criteria of the NSO as a nationally identified athlete or is an National Sporting Organisation (NSO) high performance categorized athlete.

Step 2. The athlete is advised by their coach to fill out the NTSA Athlete Scholarship Application form  and return it fully completed to the NTSA.

Step 3. The NTSA will meet with the coach and/or parent and/or athlete to outline the requirements and commitment required of both the coach and athlete. The NTSA may require an extended period (i.e. trial) for further evaluations to be made.

Step 4. The applicant may be ratified by the Program Management Group and start the NTIS process for scholarship commencement.

Fill out the NTSA Athlete Scholarship Application PDF (274.4 KB).

If you need further information please email NTSA.PathwaysServices@nt.gov.au.

NTSA Training Agreement

Athletes seeking a NTSA facility user agreement will need approval from the NTSA Director, with approvals assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The following athletes may be considered:

  • A Northern Territory resident who is competing nationally or internationally as a professional athlete (but is not a national high performance categorised athlete);
  • A national level athlete from interstate or overseas, or a national high performance categorised athlete on scholarship within the National Institute Network, who is based in the Northern Territory for a short period of time (maximum three months);
  • An ex-NTSA scholarship holder (up to 12 months hence) who has returned to the
    Northern Territory for a short period of time; or
  • A Talent Transfer athlete.

Athletes offered a NTSA facility user agreement are not eligible for financial support from the NTSA but can access NTSA facilities and agreed services on a pre-arranged basis when in the Northern Territory.

Fill out the NTSA Facility User Agreement PDF (288.4 KB).

Code of Conduct

All NTSA athletes must follow the Athlete Code of Conduct.

Read the Athlete Code of Conduct PDF (141.7 KB).

Read the NTSA Athlete Disciplinary Process PDF (144.5 KB).

Policies and guidelines

Read the following NTSA athlete scholarship policies and guidelines:

Anti-Doping Education

All NTSA athletes and coaches must complete the the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) Level 2 Anti-Doping course each year. Read more on ASADA online learning website.

More resources and the Prohibited List can be found on the World Anti-Doping Agency website. Find out more on World Anti-Doping Agency website.

Concussion in Sport

The NTSA endorses the Concussion in Sport Australia Position Statement. Read the Position Statement.


Last updated: 01 September 2022

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