Australian University Sport (AUS) is the peak governing body of university sport in Australia and provides services and support to 42 tertiary institutions to deliver sport on campus to more than one million students nation wide. Any student who is currently enrolled in a degree, diploma, certificate or higher award at an educational institution that is affiliated with AUS is eligible to compete in the sporting program. AUS is a not-for-profit member based organisation that reports to a board of nine to administer and manage the sporting needs for all AUS member universities. Working closely with its members, state and national sporting organisations, AUS operates regional, national and international sporting programs covering over forty sports in championship and games format. AUS also organises international sporting tours and Australia's participation in the elite World University Games and World University Championships.
AUS aims to:
• Foster university sport as a relevant and important part of university life
• Provide leadership in university sport
• Provide national policy in relation to university sport
• Facilitate opportunities for students to participate in competitive sport at a regional, national and international level
• Lobby and represent, on behalf of its members, the sporting needs of Australia's university students.
The charter of university sport is to provide opportunities for participation as well as promote the benefits that improved health and fitness can provide students to assist in their academic pursuits. In order to up hold this charter AUS has created the Australian University Sport Foundation (AUSF). The foundation operates as a benevolent fund where individuals and organisations can make tax deductible donations to either the foundation or one of the many projects set up within the foundation.
As the overarching fund, all donations to the AUSF will go into a pool to be used to fund grant proposals from applicants within the Australian university sport sector. The distribution of all funds raised will be managed via an annual grant process whereby university sport clubs and/or teams can apply for funding to go towards travel costs to attend sport events, equipment and uniform purchase, education and training, and club development initiatives.
An example of an AUSF project is where AUS establishes as specific fundraising cause, for example the 2016 World University Championship cross country travel fund. Similar to a crowd funding process, this project will allow athletes to approach their family, friends and organisations to donate funds to assist in reducing the overall team travel costs. Whilst the student athletes selected to attend these event are the best in the country in their chosen sport, the trips are a fully user pays and the students usually do not receive any other funding or subsidy from their university or national sport organisation.