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Federal Budget includes ongoing commitment to Sporting Schools program

Federal Budget includes ongoing commitment to Sporting Schools program
October 7, 2020

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s budget has included an ongoing commitment to the Sporting Schools program while also securing funding for National Sporting Organisations until the Paris Olympics in 2026.

Part of the Federal Government’s Building an Active Australia - Implementing Sport 2030 initiative, the Sporting Schools program has been allocated $39.6 million over two years from 2020/21 for an additional calendar year of funding.

Aiming to increase children’s participation rates in sporting activities across 6,000 schools, the funding has been allocated to Sport Australia, building on the 2019/20 Budget measure titled Implementing Sport 2030.

The Budget also saw the Australian Sports Foundation, which helps raise tax deductible donations for sporting projects, allocated $4.7 million to support community sporting clubs through enhanced IT and cybersecurity to grow their fundraising capabilities.

The Budget also allocated $27.4 million for Sport Integrity Australia, the new body replacing the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, and $4 million for the Organ and Tissue Authority to partner with community, corporate and sporting partners to raise awareness and encourage donors.

The Budget’s support for High Performance Athletes will see $50.6 million allocated over two years from 2020/21 for high performance grants to NSOs, with grants to be distributed by the Australian Institute of Sport to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches and officials prepare for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

$2.4 million will also be allocated to Football Federation Australia in 2020/21 to commence the planning and delivery phase of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and provide additional funding over three years from 2021/22 for direct event delivery costs.

Commenting on the allocations, Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt stated “we continue to fund the successful Sporting Schools Program for another year, supporting schools to partner with National Sporting Organisations to deliver high quality sport-based activity, free to students.”

Through Sport Australia, national sports bodies are married with service providers to offer a range of free sports to primary school children and targeted high school students in years seven and eight.

Since it began in 2015, Sport Australia says 7,500 schools have received funding.

Speaking to the ABC, Sport Australia acting Chief Executive, Rob Dalton said the commitment to the Sporting Schools program was "fantastic”, commenting “we're going to really work hard to try and connect the Sporting Schools program with our participation in sport so that we can try and get those kids that are participating in the program through into clubs so we can continue the cycle."

Matt Carroll, Chief Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), welcomed the certainty provided in the Budget even though no increase was sought or given.

Carroll told the ABC “we saw from the budget last night how much they are investing to ensure Australia comes through this safely.

"Sport took the view that we weren't asking for any additional investment but if we could just have the level of funding maintained.

"That's exactly what the Government has done so we welcome that certainty because that's exactly what the sports were looking for."

Updated at 6.30pm on 7th October to include comments from Sport Australia acting Chief Executive Rob Dalton and AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll.

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