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AIS announces $115 million funding for sports and athletes

AIS announces $115 million funding for sports and athletes
October 28, 2020

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has announced a funding commitment of more than $115 million to Olympic, Paralympic, and Commonwealth Games sports for the 2021/22 financial year.

The package will see the AIS will increase direct investment into Paralympic sport by more than $3 million, along with extending the majority of current funding levels for Olympic and Commonwealth sports through to the end of June 2022.

Advising that the commitment gives funding clarity through to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair, John Wylie stated “this gives sports funding clarity for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It is also a springboard towards Paris 2024.

“We are particularly pleased to also announce an increase of $3.02 million funding to Paralympic sports, which will benefit 13 sporting programs.

“Since 2012, the ASC has increased funding to Paralympic sports by 40%.

“Paralympic sports in Australia now receive an equal or greater share of AIS funding on a comparable basis to other major Olympic and Paralympic nations.

“We are truly delighted this is the case.

“These are merit-based investments reflecting the achievements of our Paralympic athletes, but they are also further recognition of how they inspire our nation."

ASC Commissioner and Australian Paralympic champion, Kurt Fearnley, said the announcement is a great step for future recognition and growth of Paralympic sport, noting “it is 20 years since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics, which helped create an incredible legacy for Paralympic sport in Australia.

“We’ve worked hard to maintain that culture of success and the requirement to be a Paralympic athlete now means you need your heart, soul and life committed to that sport.

“So we’re investing and creating new pathways to ensure we keep our reputation as one of the strongest Para-sport communities in the world.

“A key feature of this Paralympic funding is that it’s being directed straight to National Sporting Organisations so that sports can take real ownership in developing their Paralympic programs.

“That’s important to ensure we raise the prominence of Paralympic programs right across Australian sport.”

AIS Chief Executive, Peter Conde, also said the funding decisions were made to help achieve a balance between providing sports with long-term certainty and providing flexibility for performance-based changes.

Conde added “we’re in a unique situation where this current Games cycle has extended to five years, so we will only have three years between Tokyo and Paris.

“The AIS will continue discussions with sports with the aim of announcing the remainder of funding for the complete Paris cycle by December 2021.

“In the meantime, by giving sports high performance funding certainty through to June 2022, we are giving sports and athletes the best possible chance to succeed on the world stage at major upcoming international events.

“It’s good news in particular for Commonwealth Games sports looking ahead to Birmingham 2022.

“In addition to this funding announcement, the AIS also invests more than $18 million a year in direct grants to sports through pathway funding for emerging young athletes and athlete wellbeing, while we provide more than $14 million a year in direct grants to athletes to support their training and competition.”

The 13 Paralympic programs that will receive the increase in funding are archery, athletics, basketball, bowls, cycling, paddle, equestrian, rowing, rugby, triathlon, table tennis, shooting, and swimming.

Images: Australian swimmers win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (top) and ASC Commissioner and Australian Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley (below).

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