Fight for your funding, Coates tells sporting bodies
Australia’s Olympic sports organisations have been warned they must fight for a slice of the extra sports funding cake baked by the Federal government earlier this week.
The government announced an extra $195 million in new funding for sport in the budget, which equates to an extra $48 million per year.
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates and Australian Sports Commission chief executive officer Matt Miller made it clear at Saturday’s AOC annual general meeting in Sydney that the Olympic sports would not get a uniform percentage rise and would have to compete against each other and non-Olympic sports for additional funding.
The ASC will elaborate on the procedure in Melbourne this Wednesday and the additional funds are not expected to start being allocated until July at the earliest.
“This is about how do you strategically invest that money, it’s not about just supplying percentage increases across the board to the existing 65 funded sports,” Miller said on Saturday.
“Where are we going to get the best return on investment from the smart use of that money.”
Miller said inevitably there would be disappointment for some of the Olympic sporting organisations who were after additional funding.
“There’s will be some people who are disappointed that’s the nature of having to make decisions,” Miller said.
Coates said the different Olympic sporting federations would need to put up a coherent plan to tap into the additional funding.
“It’s not a give away,” Coates said.
The long-standing AOC boss said the additional funding was slightly higher than he had anticipated and would give Australia a fighting chance of retaining their top five status in the Olympic medal count at the London 2012 Games.
Coates joked he wanted to rain on the parade of old sporting rival Great Britain, but stressed Australia faced threats to their top five status from other European nations.
“Our other big problems are Germany and France, all three of those countries are very well funded,” coates told AAP.
“They’ve got bigger populations than us, but we’ve done it before.”
He reported the AOC had accumulated around $31.6 million of corporate sponsorship toward its $36-million budget for preparing and sending the Australian team, to the 2012 Olympics.
A top five place on the medal table apart, Coates also wanted to field a full team of around 430 athletes and win medals in more than the 14 sports than they had done in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.© AAP 2013