Shepparton News

Winter and women’s sports are beneficiar­ies of funding boost

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Olympic winter sports and women’s sports teams are the biggest winners with the Australian Institute of Sport announcing a funding boost across the next two years.

Under its recently launched high performanc­e investment framework aimed at giving sports longer term funding stability, 12 high performanc­e programs will share in an additional $6.7 million.

The Olympic Winter Institute of Australia will receive a funding increase of almost $2.3 million during the next two years and para-winter sport $512 500.

Three women’s Olympic teams are set to benefit.

Australian women’s football ($800 000 increase across two years), rugby sevens ($605 000) and women’s softball ($400 000), as they return to the Olympic program in 2020.

Other programs that will receive funding boosts from the start of next year include diving, shooting, men’s hockey, surfing, modern pentathlon, archery and para-athletics.

Athletics, water polo, volleyball and gymnastics are under review with their funding set to be reduced from July, but AIS director Peter Conde was confident it wouldn’t impact on their podium success.

The AIS has moved away from annual grants to provide longerterm funding commitment­s to give sports more stability and certainty to plan ahead.

‘‘The AIS is making these funding changes now to increase the probabilit­y of success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic­s, but also to get a head-start on athlete pathways for the future Olympic cycles,’’ Conde said in a statement.

‘‘This funding will be complement­ed by new and enhanced support programs delivered by the AIS, including a strong emphasis on athlete wellbeing, applied technology and innovation, performanc­e under pressure, and profession­al workforce developmen­t.’’

Conde said success would not be measured solely by Australia’s final position on medal tables at the multi-sport events.

‘‘We will certainly continue to support Australian athletes to provide the best chance of internatio­nal podium success, but the emphasis will be on the number of Australian medallists across a breadth of sports,’’ he said.

‘‘This means the AIS will continue to strongly invest in Australian teams, which reflect as only one medal on a traditiona­l medal table, but ultimately produce multiple medallists.’’

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