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AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll calls for more money for Olympic and Paralympic sport
On a day of major announcements relating to elite sport, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Chief Executive Matt Carroll says an extra $60 million a year is needed to help improve Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic campaigns.
Carroll's call came on the same day as an open letter was released, signed by 43 sporting greats, warned “high performance will inevitably transform into mediocrity” unless funding levels improve and on which Federal Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie announced $50 million in funding for high-performance sport across two years heading into Tokyo 2020..
Speaking at the National Press Club, Carroll said the funding was not near enough, warning that the Federal Government’s National Sports Plan, released at the beginning of August, would fail if funding levels didn’t increase.
In his address, Carroll (pictured below) stated “in the scheme of the federal budget of some $488 billion, this ($60 million) is not a lot of money.
“An investment by government in sport is no different to investment in any other industry – the dividends are different but no less important for the economy and the country.”
With other nations pouring ever larger amounts of money into elite sporting programs, the AOC has expressed concern at the decline in Australia’s medal tally at every Olympics following Sydney 2000.
The Federal Government's sport agency Sport Australia (the former Australian Sports Commission) have moved to put more emphasis will be put on grassroots sports and physical activity instead of winning medals at major international events such as the Olympics.
Since the announcement on the new funding model was made in August, the AOC had not responded until today.
Carroll's address coincided with the release of an open letter signed by sports stars including swimming legend Ian Thorpe, Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, former basketball superstar Lauren Jackson and former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns are just some of the sporting icons to sign the open letter.
Published in The Australian newspaper today, the letter stated "when our current generation of athletes and future Olympians and Paralympians are forced to crowd source for the funds to represent Australia at world cup and international competition, you know that we have a funding model that is broken.
"High performance will inevitably transform into mediocrity. Our diverse tapestry of sporting endeavour will erode. Fewer sports, fewer athletes and fewer results."
Carroll was also critical of changes to the Australian Institute of Sport, saying its program and its base in Canberra remain vital.
Carroll added "the importance of sports science, sports medicine and technology in contributing to winning performances is clear.
“Through deliberate funding neglect, the AIS is no longer pre-eminent.”
17th October 2018 - Sport Australia announces new integrity role appointment
18th October 2018 - Women Sport Australia announce ‘world beating’ sportswomen
1st August 2018 - Federal Government releases new national sport plan
1st August 2018 - Sports Commission to rebrand as Sport Australia
11th May 2018 - Sports Commission welcomes funding to get Australians active
28th April 2018 - AOC President Coates takes aim at rivals in AGM address
19th April 2018 - Ian Burns sets goal for AIS to be world leader in sport technology
24th August 2017 - AOC promises to overhaul internal culture after damning review
16th March 2017 - Matt Carroll named new Australian Olympic Committee Chief Executive
1st September 2016 - Australian Sports Commission commits to Winning Edge principles and further reforms
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