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Restoration payments for former AIS athletes

Up to $50,000 in payments entitled to victims of abuse

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has announced that former scholarship holders will be entitled restoration payments if they were victims of abuse while at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

After reports of systematic abuse over many years—with some as recent as last year—former scholarship owners will now be entitled to payments of up to $50,000.

The ASC Restorative Program allows scholarship holders from 1981-2013 to share their experiences with a senior representative of the ASC.

ASC Chair Josephine Sukkar (AM) acknowledged that the AIS had made some significant mistakes in the past and reinforced the significance of this new initiative.

“The Program has been established to help our former athletes report and raise concerns directly with the ASC about practices at the AIS that were detrimental to their wellbeing,” Sukkar said.

This new initiative comes over a year after a formal apology to former athletes was issued in May 2021, following a damning report into the AIS gymnastics program.

The West Australian last year reported that culture within the AIS allowed for systematic physical, sexual, and emotional abuse against young girls and women.

Several gymnastics scholarship holders shared their experiences at the AIS, with one participant telling the West Australian that they were “11 years old and weighed 22 kilograms” while another said they felt as though they couldn’t report these issues, as “every adult was on the coaches’ side”.

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins (OAM) has encouraged any former AIS scholarship holders to contact the Program to claim their payment, or if they suffered any harm from their time at the AIS.

“Abuse of any nature has no place in Australian sport,” Perkins said.

Photo: We arrive at the AIS for our Covid booster jab By Spelio is available HERE and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified. (edited)

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