The Australian Institute of Sports continued its focus on investing in sports with the greatest potential to deliver international success at the announcement of its annual investment allocations to sports.
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie AM said the 2014-15 investment of nearly $120 million continues to be refined to ensure funding is aligned to sports with the greatest potential to contribute to Australia’s Winning Edge targets.
'It is pleasing that in these times of financial restraint we have been able to provide the same level of total funding as last year as we continue to sharpen our approach to investment in Australian sport,' Wylie said.
'The more focused funding approach has seen a total of $20 million be redirected in the past two years to sports with the greatest medal potential in Rio and beyond.
'Furthermore the financial support of athletes has never been greater with more than $12 million allocated to assist some 650 eligible athletes through the AIS’ Direct Athlete Support scheme.'
AIS Director Matt Favier said this year’s investment allocations recognised sports which had excellent recent records and potential medal opportunities.
'Sailing has received an increase of $1.25 million based on past performances including London and its potential to contribute to Australia’s Olympic medal tally in Rio and beyond,' he said.
'This also represents a greater investment and support for sailing’s emerging athletes for the 2020 Olympics.
'Other national sporting organisations (NSO) to receive an increase in funding include canoeing ($500,000), swimming ($250,000) and rowing ($200,000).
'We have provided these sports with an increase due to their multi gold medal potential, improved performance profile and high preparation costs.
'We have also increased our funding to taekwondo ($300,000) following outstanding performances and women’s water polo ($275,000).
'Women’s water polo has been rewarded as they are potential Olympic gold medallists and we want to ensure our investment in the sport reflects this level of performance.'
ASC Chief Executive Simon Hollingsworth said the investment allocation included a reduction in the high performance investment to sports which have the greatest ability to support themselves financially.
'Sports like AFL, cricket, rugby league, and tennis are iconic sports for Australia. Given these sports generate large amounts of broadcast revenue, the AIS considers it unnecessary to invest directly in their high performance outcomes. Alternative partnerships with these sports and the AIS will be pursued.
'The AIS will continue to financially support the large and active participation programs these sports provide for 2014-15.
'Today’s announcement also includes nearly $20 million for grassroots sports through participation grants to NSOs.
'This will enable sports to capitalise on the opportunity of the ASC’s flagship participation program, Sporting Schools, announced in the recent Federal Budget.'