Athlete development and scholarships

The Northern Territory Institute of Sport (NTIS) offers scholarships to athletes in alignment with Australia’s high performance athlete categorization framework and focuses on the following:

  • identifying athletes with the greatest potential to contribute to national high performance targets, as well as NTIS outcomes;
  • supporting these athletes;
  • tracking performance over time.

NTIS athlete scholarship

An NTIS athlete scholarship will be awarded to athletes residing in and (where possible) representing the Northern Territory (NT) who are not competing as a professional in their sport.

A professional is an athlete who has a professional sport license (e.g. golf, triathlon) and/or is on a professional contract competing in a national or international league/championship series (e.g. AFL, NRL).


Athletes will be assessed under one of the five national high performance categories below:

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 NTIS works in partnership with the nominated coach. Athletes applying for an NTIS scholarship are required to have a coach who not only delivers the technical and tactical components for the athlete, but is also required to attend NTIS-based training sessions on a regular basis.

The coach must also be willing to attend and be developed in the pillars of the NTIS Coach Development Program, and use these principles in the athletes training program. This is in addition to planning and managing other services provided from within the NTIS and from external providers.

Scholarship process

The NTIS athlete scholarship process follows the steps below.

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

Step 2. The athlete is advised by their coach to fill out the NTIS scholarship application form and return it fully completed to the NTIS.

Step 3. The NTIS will meet with the nominated coach to outline the requirements and commitment required of the coach and will approve or not approve the coach/athlete scholarship for further assessment.

Step 4. If the scholarship applicant and coach are not, or have not been, attending the NTIS Coach Development Program morning sessions, they both will be required to commence these training sessions. If both athlete and coach meet the requirements over an initial three month period, the athlete will be eligible to undergo further assessments to become a scholarship athlete; or

Step 5. If the scholarship applicant and coach have been attending, and are implementing the NTIS Coach Development Program pillars, the applicant may be ratified by the Program Management Group and start the NTIS process for scholarship commencement.

Step 6. A parent, coach, and athlete meeting will be conducted to outline the expectations required by an athlete on NTIS scholarship and assess the impact a NTIS scholarship may have on the athlete.

Fill out the NTIS Athlete Scholarship Application (168.6 kb).

NTIS training agreement

The offer of an NTIS training agreement will be considered by NTIS senior management and approved by the NTIS Director on a case-by-case basis.

The following athletes may be considered:

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

Athletes offered an NTIS training agreement are not eligible for financial support from the NTIS but can access NTIS facilities and agreed services on a pre-arranged basis when in Darwin or Alice Springs.

Fill out the Training Agreement Application (208.7 kb).

Code of conduct

All NTIS athletes must follow the Athlete Code of Conduct.

The NTIS has an Athlete Disciplinary Process in place for dealing with athletes who breach conditions of their NTIS Athlete Scholarship Agreement.

Read the Athlete Code of Conduct (73.6 kb).

Read the NTIS Athlete Disciplinary Process (110.1 kb).

Policies and guidelines

Read the following NTIS athlete scholarship policies and guidelines:


All NTIS athletes and coaches must register and gain Level 2 certification from the ASADA online learning website to support the NTIS anti-doping education.

To access the World Anti Doping code, and further resources including the Prohibited List please visit the World Anti-Doping Agency website.

Last updated: 03 July 2018