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DBS study into athlete wellbeing and engagement receives AIS sport research and innovation grant

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has announced a new round of grants for research and innovation in high performance sport.

The AIS Research Grants Program will see grants totalling $500,000 allocated to eleven leading research teams located across Australia to help elite athletes, coaches and support staff optimise their performance. 

From improving athlete health and wellbeing to uncovering the success of Esports, each research project will have a significant impact on the high performance system and each one aligns with research priorities outlined in the National High Performance Sport Research Agenda. 

As one of the successful grant applicants, Deakin Business School academic Dr Jonathan Robertson has been awarded $44,400 towards his upcoming qualitative study of athlete wellbeing and engagement (AW&E) management in Australian high-performance sport.

Dr Robertson will lead a team of researchers from Deakin University and Griffith University in partnership with the Queensland Academy of Sport and the Victorian Institute of Sport to support the delivery of evidence-based wellbeing services to high performance athletes. 

With athletes facing extreme performance pressures, athlete wellbeing is a significant concern. Athletes often juggle their sport commitments with school or university studies and other life pressures, such as going through puberty. This can result in negative physical outcomes, such as injury and physical breakdowns, and poor mental health. According to Dr Robertson, Australia is a leader in athlete wellbeing and has come a long way in safeguarding athletes’ physical and mental health in recent years.

This study aims to aggregate all the work that has been done in this space in recent years to create a toolkit for athlete wellbeing managers. It’s hoped that this will further improve and safeguard athlete wellbeing to ensure they are physically and mentally healthy and are able to perform at their best.

AIS Chief Science Officer Dr Paolo Menaspa was pleased to see the quality of the research submissions. “The eleven awarded projects hold great promise for enhancing athlete wellbeing and performance, advancing sport research and ultimately delivering results that make Australia proud.”