The Performance Pathway - Categorisation


Athlete Categorisation is used to identify, track, and prioritise athletes at each stage of the Performance Pathway, developing a pipeline of athletes to support Australian Cycling Teams in consistently winning medals at major international events: namely Olympic, Paralympic, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.


How categorisation is implemented

AusCycling Performance has implemented a National Categorisation Framework driven by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). Categorisation is the process by which National Sport Organisations (NSO’s) identify, track, and prioritise athletes in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

At AusCycling Performance, categorisation is based on two sport specific measures:

  1. Sport specific evidence-based metrics to assess the athlete’s current performance combined with a combination of objective and subjective assessments of the athlete’s headroom*
  2. Performance trends are included in the assessment for athletes considered for Podium Ready and Podium categories

When we combine these two factors, it provides an indication of the potential and podium trajectory each athlete is on. Our talent identification and development systems work in unison with the AusCycling Performance Strategy.

*Headroom refers to the support, resources, and education that an athlete has had access to which has contributed to their development to date; and their potential to improve performances in the future.


How the Categorisation Framework is designed

All Australian National Sports Organisations use the AIS National Performance Pathway Categorisation table (below) to define a Sport Specific Framework. We categorise athletes through five stages, from Emerging to Podium, on route to podium performances in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

National Performance Pathway Categorisation


How to gain entry to the categorisation pathway


Athletes and/or their coach who are not part of a High Performance Network (HPN) program must contact the HPN Coach of their State Sporting Institute to enquire about the Emerging and Developing categorisation application process.

Before contacting a HPN Coach, athletes and coaches are to refer to the performance standards provided in the Appendices of the AusCycling Categorisation and Performance Standards. HPN Coaches will only consider athletes who can demonstrate the standards have been met. 


  • Emerging and Developing categorisations are reviewed in Apr/May each year.  
  • Podium Potential – Podium categorisations are reviewed in Oct/Nov each year.


AusCycling Performance Categorisation Process

Updated Categorisation Process


2024 Categorisation Dates - Podium Potential to Podium

Updated Categorisation Dates



Please refer below for further information on the AusCycling Performance Categorisation process, or to contact your State Sporting Institute:

Donna Rae-Szalinski
Director of Pathways

[email protected]

South Australian Sports Institute (SASI)

Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS)

Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS)

New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS)

Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS)

Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)

Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport (ACTAS)
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