AOC calls for urgent funding review in wake of funding cuts
26 November 2018
AOC: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says today’s announcement of funding cuts to a range of sports will adversely affect the Australian Olympic Team’s performance in Tokyo 2020.
AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll AM says the timing of the arrangements announced by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) creates enormous problems for sport planning and budgeting ahead of the Games.
“We are realistic. Sports need to be accountable and there is only so much money to go around, but it is very difficult to plan and produce high performance in this environment. There is simply not enough money in the system.
“We have seen Sport Australia’s appropriation funding reduce by 20% in real terms over the past eight years.
“This is why the AOC recently called for an additional $60 million annually for both participation and high performance. We argued the return to government is a significant community health dividend along with the benefits that Australian athletes performing on the international stage bring, such as national pride, inspiration to our youth and social cohesion.”
“Sports that are lifting performance through well thought-out strategic plans, employing coaches and driving improvement in their systems have found themselves abandoned or facing great uncertainty.”
“The AOC called for the additional funding to prevent this situation. We strongly urged the government to provide funding directly to the sports through Sport Australia.
“I reiterate, this is not money for the AOC, nor for getting the team to Tokyo, as we are financially independent. Extra investment in the sports themselves should be the priority.
Mr Carroll says the timing of the cuts will make planning the campaigns difficult at a time when sports and their athletes should be fully focused on preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“It would be naïve to think that high performance athletes can enjoy their best preparation when there is financial pressure on coaching, programs, competitions and rising costs.
“The AOC will continue to argue that 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, in fact more important.”