Queensland Academy of Sport

Sporting Pathways

The Athlete's Journey

The FTEM framework is a practical planning and review tool used by Australian National and State Sporting Organisations (NSO/SSOs) and the National Institute Network (NIN), including the Queensland Academy of Sport. The diagram below shows the stages of athlete development from Foundations, to Talent, to Elite and Mastery, and shows how different stakeholders are involved at different levels of the pathway.

The YouFor2032 program is deliberately targeting athletes with the potential for high-performance success, who will work with sports to confirm their potential talent and move into the higher levels of the pathway. Once an athlete reaches stages ~T3 or higher, they will be embedded within the NSO/SSO programs and supported by the Queensland Academy of Sport.

HP = High-performance; DTE = Daily Training Environment; NSO = National Sporting Organisation; SSO = State Sporting Organisation; NIN = National Institute Network (e.g., QAS)


There is more than one avenue to unearth talent!

The Youfor2032 Program is complimentary to the sporting pathways that already exist! The Athlete’s Journey infographic shows how the Youfor2032 program is designed to work with athletes during a very targeted stage of athletic development, and works alongside existing sporting pathways. The Youfor2032 program is not the only pathway to becoming an Olympic or Paralympic medallist!

Youfor2032 Journey

The aim of Youfor2032 is to identify people from all over Queensland who might have what it takes to medal in our targeted sports at the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Youfor2032 pathway will look slightly different for everyone, and there will be subtle differences in how we approach the Olympic and Paralympic pathways. Please keep this in mind when navigating through the pathway on the infographic used as an illustration only to help you understand the various steps in the program.


Our goal: Partner with sports to systematically identify, confirm and develop future medal-winning athletes.


Youfor2032 Olympic pathway 

The Talent Team will take aspiring Olympians through some baseline physical testing to see where they are in regard to athletic development, and we will also want to learn a little more about their personality and what makes them tick! Participants will receive a testing report with individual results within one month of completing a testing session.

The Queensland Academy of Sport will work very closely with the sports to determine who will be provided the opportunity to progress to the next stage. There may be a preliminary selection, where some sports would like to see more sport-specific skills prior to final selection, whereas other sports will enter straight into a final selection.

Please note that not everyone will be able to progress to the next stage – we are looking for the best of the best! – but if a young aspiring athlete is not chosen, remember that a lot can happen in 12 months regarding development, and this is a multi-year program so please come back to test next year. This is also not the only pathway to Olympic or Paralympic success, so we encourage aspiring athletes to keep working hard in their chosen sport.

During the confirmation phase, athletes will be invited to try the daily training environment for 3 months to get a sense of the sport, see how they integrate with the coach and whether they enjoy it. Remember that we encourage sports sampling and do not require participants to drop other sporting commitments whilst trying the sport they are selected into. We are also passionate about allowing young aspiring athletes to remain in their normal living circumstances during these early years so there won’t be an expectation to move if you are selected. If there is good synergy between the athlete and the sport, they will be invited into a 12 month or longer development phase where they will be embedded within the sport to train and compete, with the ultimate goal of entering into a National Sporting Organisation High-performance pathway.

How do you become categorised within the Queensland Academy of Sport?

Athlete categorisation levels are determined through a formal process led by the National Sporting Organisation and is typically based off performance. As such, athlete categorisation criteria differ between sports. The level of categorisation dictates the amount of funding and support an athlete receives at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS). Therefore, not all athletes at the QAS will receive the same level of support. We believe it is important to take a holistic approach to athletic development before targeting certain aspects of performance – as some would say, the 1%’ers.

If a young athlete has a breakthrough performance, they will likely enter the QAS at the Emerging level (5) before moving up the pathway as they progress in their sport. It is important to keep in mind that not all athletes will progress to the top, which is the reality of high-performance sport. Only those that are the best of the best by reaching high-level international success will progress to Podium Level (1).

Did you know that the Queensland Academy of Sport has five levels of athlete categorisation?

Athlete categorisation, much like athlete development, is non-linear and athletes may move up or down through categorisation levels at different points of their career.


What does the Queensland Academy of Sport do?

The Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) is the Queensland Governments’ high-performance sports agency that provides and delivers world-leading Performance Support services for elite athletes to achieve podium success on the world stage. We have state-of-the-art Olympic and Paralympic training facilities at Nathan, Brisbane.

At the QAS, we support more than 450 pre-elite and elite athletes from talented juniors to Olympic, Paralympic and World Championships medallists. We support both in-house squad programs, partnership programs with State and National Sporting Organisations, and scholarships for individuals on medal-winning trajectories for international success.

We have a new and bold 2032 High-Performance Strategy to propel us forward to enable more medal-winning moments by Queensland athletes, ultimately inspiring the State and the Nation ahead of the backdrop of a home Games in Brisbane 2032.


Expert practitioners

Coach development

Youfor2032 Program

Support athletes on a medal winning trajectory

Work in partnership with sports and organisations

We want talent.
We want passion.
We want commitment.

If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you.