ASC’s ‘Winning Edge’ changes the sports funding mix

The Australian Sports Commission has announced its first funding allocation under a new method that reflects recent success as well as best prospects for future success in international competition, in particular at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games and world championships. Beyond 2013-14, the funding for elite programs will be reviewed annually by the Sports Commission and will be determined according to how sports measure up from a performance and governance perspective.

Paralympic sports received a 14.1% increase, taking their total allocation to $9,101,250.

Swimming Australia remains the most generously funded governing body, allocated $8,781,000, $500,000 less than before, despite the worst Olympic performance in 20 years in the pool last year and subsequent revelations of poor team culture. The message, after the ASC's extensive strategising and research, is that Australia expects to do better in international swimming than in any other sport. Athletics Australia funding is down by around $250,000 for the next financial year.

Seven top Olympic sports have lost funding including swimming (-5.8 per cent) and athletics (-3.8 per cent) while increased amounts are allocated to sailing (16.7 per cent), rowing (4.8 per cent), canoeing (17.4 per cent), water polo (21.5 per cent), and new Olympic sports rugby union (91.2 per cent, including a one-off $500,000 grant to establish a national centre of excellence) and golf (17.7 per cent). Other losers in the funding shake-up include baseball (-37.3 per cent) and softball (-33.1 per cent), both sports that have been dropped from the Olympics, boxing (-18.7 per cent), soccer (-15 per cent), cricket (-18.9 per cent) and tennis (-16.2 per cent).

Female athletes have been particularly targeted for increased investment across a range of sports because of their history of producing medals. Funding has been particularly directed towards the women's game in water polo, cricket, soccer, rugby and golf.


Thanks to The Australian and The Age for some of the above.

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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