ASC announces almost $120 million investment in sports

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) chair John Wylie AM yesterday announced almost $120 million in government investment allocations to Australian national sporting organisations for 2013–14.

‘The investment in sports we are announcing today reflects the robust approach we have adopted under Australia’s Winning Edge 2012–2022, the high performance game plan for moving Australian sport from world class to world best,’ Wylie said. ‘The Winning Edge sets high targets for Australia to be a top five nation at the Olympics and Paralympics, top 15 at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, number one at the Commonwealth Games and have more than 20 world champions annually.

Mr Wylie said that the investment decisions were based on a set of principles that assessed sports ability to provide sound evidence that they can contribute to the targets. ‘We have also asked that sports be more accountable for best practice governance and commercial performance under our investment approach,’ he said. ‘Under this approach sailing ($900k per annum), canoeing ($620k), rowing ($325k), rugby 7s, ($500k),water polo ($550k) and golf ($150k) have all received increases in 2013–14, as have triathlon ($150k), diving ($150k) and shooting ($100k) as a result of their submissions.’

Paralympic sports have also been rewarded for success and their strong performance cases with a 14 per cent increase to sports in funding for 2013–14.

ASC CEO Simon Hollingsworth was happy with the outcome of the rigorous process. ‘I am pleased that we have taken a significant first step in the changed approach to high performance sport,’ said Hollingsworth. ‘We believe that these sports provided proof of their potential to reach our Winning Edge targets in their submissions. Sailing, for instance, will receive over $6.8 million in 2013–14 reflecting their potential to build further on the highly successful London campaign that reaped three gold and one silver medal at the Olympics and a gold at the Paralympics.’

Mr Hollingsworth said that Water Polo will receive over $3 million as a consistent medal sport in the women’s program with a rising performance profile for men.

‘The Australian Rugby Union will receive an additional $496,000 in ongoing annual high performance investment as well as $500,000 over the next two years for the establishment of a centre of excellence that will specifically focus on 7s rugby.’

Mr Wylie noted that the process undertaken was performance based and would be monitored. ‘As this is the first year of our new approach, the impact of these decisions will be reviewed closely as the year progresses and sports that have their funding increased or decreased this year should not assume that’s the likely case again next year – all sports have to justifying their investment each year,’ he said. ‘However, the Commission board and executive were very impressed with the strong submissions made by sports in their performance cases and I would like to acknowledge the effort all sports have put in to prove they deserve public investment.’

Mr Wylie said the evidence provided has demonstrated good support for the overall performance targets announced in November by the ASC and has given us confidence about Australian sport despite some recent negative news. ‘The Commission understands all sports would appreciate increased investment; however, we are committed to working within existing budgets and working closely and positively with sports to increase the size and diversity of their funding base, especially through increased commercial and philanthropic sources of income.’

He said that yesterday’s funding announcement is a marker on the path towards improved sport performance and funding, not an end point.

He also highlighted the full range of ASC investment in sports. ‘We have also invested nearly $17 million in participation initiatives with sports recognising the importance of a clear pathway and the health and wellbeing benefits from sports participation,’ he said. ‘We are pleased to continue to invest nearly $1 million with Netball Australia, including for the highly successful NetSetGo program, which had over 41,000 participants last year.

‘Programs such as this and others securing investment of over $500,000 in hockey, skate, and basketball as examples, are important for participation outcomes as well as creating a pathway for our best talent.

‘We know that with international competition intensifying and improving all the time, we have an enormous challenge on our hands to restore Australia’s position in world sport.

‘I believe we have taken a positive step today towards meeting those challenges and we will work with our sports to deliver success.’

From the AIS website:

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