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Office of Sport


Adapted from the original FTEM Framework (Gulbin, Croser, Morley & Weissensteiner, 2013), the FTEM NSW Participant and Athlete Framework developed by the NSW Office of Sport, is directly informing and supporting the guidance and ongoing support provided by the Office of Sport Pathways team including the NSW Government’s Future Champions – Pathways to Sporting Success strategy.


FTEM NSW is an integrated and progressive framework and systems approach:

  • empowering the participants and athletes of NSW and supporting them through their life-long journey in sport and physical activity
  • supporting stakeholders (parents, coaches, volunteers, schools, universities, clubs, sporting organisations and providers etc.) by providing best-practice guidelines for each level of the developmental continuum from the grass roots to podium.

FTEM NSW was recently recognised within the National policy document Getting Australia Active III - A systems approach to physical activity for policy makers.



FTEM NSW Participant and Athlete Development Framework 

Key Features of FTEM NSW

  • Visualises the NSW recreational and sporting landscape through its inclusion and complement of all physical activity outcomes - Active Lifestyle pursuits, Social, Recreational and High-Performance sport.
  • Presents a ‘chronology’ of eleven integrated and progressive developmental levels spanning the life-stages (i.e., youth, adults, and seniors) 
  • Rather than solely predicated on chronological age, advocates a best practice approach to maximising development and progression.
  • Is flexible in application catering for individual variability
  • Is inclusive catering for all participants no matter their motivation and goal, life-stage, capability, or capacity.
  • Is holistic in its coverage at each level (i.e., interaction of individual, environmental & system factors) through its integration of the 3D-AD (Three-Dimensional Athlete Development) model (Gulbin & Weissensteiner, 2013)
  • Highlights the critical importance of developing early movement foundations and physical literacy to support positive engagement in physical activity through the life stages.
  • Is aligned with and facilitates the implementation of, Sport Australia’s Physical Literacy Framework
  • At an organisational level, provides a logical blueprint ensuring the right fit and progression of strategy, programs, and support for participants no matter what level they are at.
  • Provides a logical and progressive approach to support the effective selection, development, and transition of emerging athletes.
  • Provides a common language for all stakeholders
  • Includes imagery that is vibrant, inclusive and representative of the participants and athletes of NSW and key Office of Sport initiatives including the Dads and Daughters program (Her Sport Her Way strategy), the Duke of Edinburgh’s program and support partners such as the NSW Regional Academies of Sport.


Masterclass webinar

Learn about the origins of the FTEM Athlete Development framework and 3DAD (Three Dimensional Athlete Development) model and how they are being used to directly inform policy, strategy, delivery and education within NSW, Australia and internationally.

Watch here

FTEM flyer

FTEM NSW System level Considerations

FTEM NSW Best Practice Tips for Instructors and Coaches

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