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I’m probably the least sporty person I know. I’ve never been keen on playing sport and I don’t watch it on TV, or even have a favourite team. It’s seems un-Australian and I feel admitting this may mean that I have to hand in my Australian passport but it’s just the way I am. Therefore, it was a surprise to me that I enjoyed our visit to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.  For sports lovers a visit to the AIS will provide a great insight into the training and science that goes into our Olympic champions and wannabes. It should give kids a good lesson in the dedication and sheer determination it takes to become an Olympian.

Australian Institute of Sport
The AIS tour is accessible

I was surprised and delighted to find that the tour of the AIS is wheelchair accessible.

Our guide for the tour was Reece, a future Olympic star perhaps, who is at the AIS training for track and field. Training at the AIS leaves little time for a regular job so the AIS employs athletes to lead tours in their spare time.

Our first stop, also the kids favourite, was an interactive area of the AIS. The room was filled with Olympic memorabilia including uniforms, Olympic medals and an Olympic torch. It was a timely visit as we were there a few months prior to the Rio Olympics.

Australian Institute of Sport
Checking out the sports memorabilia

Hubby and I could have spent a lot more time reading the history of the Olympics and the stories of athletes but the kids were keen to do the hands-on activities.

Australian Institute of Sport
Trying out their skills at wheelchair basketball

The wheelchair basketball area ironically has a small step up to get into the court but the kids were undeterred and had a good lesson in how hard it is to shoot a basketball from a wheelchair. BJ decided soccer was a better game turning to kicking the balls instead. It was also nice to see a Mogo Wheelchair on show (same brand as BJ’s manual chair), no doubt donated.

Australian Institute of Sport
Racing like Olympians

Hubby and AJ got quite competitive on the bike riding challenge with Hubby declaring victory.

Arm wrestling fun

BJ showed he’s no pushover when it comes to arm wrestling and gave AJ a good run for her money.

Australian Institute of Sport
Olympic medals on show at AIS

I was still hankering to look at all the memoribillia but it was time to move on.

Next, it was time to look at the different venues and get a sneak peek at the athletes in training. Reece filled us in on the different athletes stats and examples of training schedules. We loved that he was as on top of the Paralympian’s achievements and times as the other athletes. We felt that the AIS tour was really inclusive on all levels.

Australian Institute of Sport
Athletes in training

We were lucky enough to watch some of the gymnasts in training and the athletes working out in the gym.

Australian Institute of Sport
Athlete training at AIS

We were given an insight into how the swimmers train and the equipment built into the pool which helps analyze their strokes and times.

Australian Institute of Sport
Training pool at AIS

I’d love to say that after the tour I’ve become an avid sports fan or have a newfound desire to take up sport but alas, nothing has changed but an even greater admiration for those with the drive and determination to make the Olympics or Commonwealth Games.


Australian Institute of Sport
There’s great wheelchair access at the AIS for the tour

Ramps and elevators at the AIS ensure everyone has good access to all aspects of the tour. We also found our guide was experienced with taking us the accessible route around the AIS.

There is wheelchair accessible parking in the car park and level paths to the building.

Stand-alone disabled toilet facilities are available at the AIS.

You can read more about tours of the AIS here.

We stayed at the Novotel Canberra and you can read our review of the fabulous accessible accommodation here.

Australian Institute of Sport.
We loved the sculpture of the basketball athlete at the AIS





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