11 May 2005
ASC announces $52 million in funding for sports
Athlete preparation for success on the international stage has been boosted by a $52.3 million high- performance funding package, announced in the budget today and to be administered by the Australian Sports Commission.
The funding will see more direct athlete financial support; the establishment of a European training base; more money for international competition; and extra funding for national sporting organisations.
The Australian Government, through the ASC, has increased its already significant contributions to Australian athletes training for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games by committing another $14 million in Direct Athlete Support (DAS) funds to assist athletes with living and training expenses through to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Australian Sports Commission CEO, Mark Peters said Australian athletes, the vast majority of whom have little or no income, could now focus on training and performance without being overly burdened by financial concerns.
‘This sort of commitment from the Australian Government is a shot in the arm for athletes training for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and the Beijing Olympics in 2008,’ Mr Peter said.
‘Our performances in Sydney and Athens were record-breaking, and with this sort of support and commitment behind them, there’s no reason our athletes shouldn’t be able to replicate these efforts.’
In a further boost to athletes preparing for major competition, the ASC has negotiated the establishment of a European training and competition base for AIS athletes and Australian national teams.
To be built in northern Italy, the $11 million European Training Centre will provide Australian athletes with consistent, high quality and cost effective access to a range of services to assist Australian athletes overseas.
‘The European Training Centre will give Australian athletes in Europe access to home-grown expertise in sports science and sports medicine—one of Australia’s proven key competitive advantages,’ Mr Peters said.
‘The purpose-built 50-bed facility will also provide accommodation, training facilities, transport and athlete support services.’
Also announced in the budget was a $13 million commitment to sports to enable their athletes and teams to pursue valuable international competition. Exposure to international competition is recognised as a key element in the success of any athlete.
‘In the lead up to 2000 the world came to us to compete but since then the challenges of geography and cost have made pursuing this sort of competition difficult for many sports,’ Mr Peter said.
‘Experiencing the pressure of international competition, exposure to judges and referees as well as other competitors is critical in allowing athletes to perform to their full potential.’
National sporting organisations will also receive $14.3 million in extra funding to continue to provide opportunities for all Australians to participate in sport from the grass-roots level through to elite sport.
‘The ASC is working with sports to help them achieve these outcomes for the benefit of all Australians,’ Mr Peters said.
‘We assist sports to be elite performers in the way they conduct their business—to have sound management capacity and capabilities, to practice good governance and be transparent in their operations.’
‘All sports are working toward providing Australians with the very best sporting opportunities, be it participation at the community level and programs to help them remain active and healthy, or providing professional and dedicated pathways to assist them to represent their country at the elite level.’
Contact: Simon Langford, ASC Media Manager, 02 6214 1298 or 0418 605 541