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Federal Government commits extra $50 million for elite Australian athletes

Federal Government commits extra $50 million for elite Australian athletes
June 14, 2020

The Australian Government has announced $50.6 million in funding over two years for high performance athletes.

Media reports today indicate that Federal Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck secured the funding in response to a recent joint submission by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Paralympics Australia and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) - outlining a three-point plan for assistance amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The funding injection will assist in covering costs for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games next year through to the Beijing Winter Games and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

Stating the commitment to helping Australia’s sporting sector impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Colbeck commented "with the Tokyo 2020 Games rescheduled to 2021, the Olympics and Paralympics are likely to be one of the first major international sporting events to take place following the COVID-19 pandemic ... this funding will support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches as they prepare for Tokyo, as well as the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

Additionally, as part of the previously announced $70 million Supporting Sport and Physical Activity election commitment, Minister Colbeck said more than $3.9 million will be brought forward to invest in five projects to improve infrastructure at high performance facilities across Australia.

It forms a part of the $11.5 million to support infrastructure upgrades at high-performance facilities.

Senator Colbeck (pictured below) added “one of these recipients will be the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, which will receive $800,000 to improve training equipment available for aerial skiing and snowboarding.”

Other recipients include Swimming Australia which receives $725,000 to equip at least one pool in each state with the latest technology, including cameras and instrumented turning plates and Paddle Australia which will benefit from an allocation of $1.25 million to improve its high performance facilities.

Minister Colbeck said the investments support the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 objective of backing our best athletes, coaches and sporting bodies to develop a high-performance culture.

The funding has been widely welcomed.

AOC President John Coates said the funding injection would allow sports to secure the employment of high-performance staff and support services, advising “this has been a period of great uncertainty and anguish for athletes.

"What this does is address the other part of the problem for our athletes and their sports by ensuring that they can leave no stone unturned in pursuing the best possible preparation.

"There are a lot of relieved athletes and sports administrators out there today."

Paralympics Australia President Jock O'Callaghan said he was pleased that the government had continued to support high performance sport, noting “this investment will enable our aspiring Paralympians to keep striving for Tokyo, Beijing and Birmingham with confidence and assurance.”

Australian Sports Commission Chairman John Wylie said the additional investment is a huge boost for Australia's high-performance system.

Wylie added “this is fantastic news for those athletes and coaches who have just returned to training and striving for success in the green and gold next year and beyond.”

The high-performance investment also comes just days after the 2032 Olympic Games hosting bid by the Australian city of Brisbane has been put on hold.

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