CAS applauds the increased Fed Govt investment in support for young athletes.
Media release is courtesy of Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services
Young Australian athletes and their families will benefit following the Morrison Government’s expansion of the popular Local Sporting Champions program with the number of annual grants to increase from 9000 to 12,000.
In addition, a new Local Para Champions program will provide extra financial support of up to $1,000 for more than 900 aspiring Paralympians to participate in competitions, recognising the added costs for equipment and travel.
This new funding of $5.5 million for the program comes through the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) announced today by the Treasurer.
Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said with the removal of most state borders and COVID restrictions, young Australian athletes were looking forward to being able to once again compete at championship level around Australia and overseas.
“This expansion in Local Sporting Champions grants for young athletes, officials and coaches will bring them one step closer to making their sporting dreams a reality,” Minister Colbeck said.
The Local Sporting Champions program provides financial assistance to coaches, officials, and competitors aged 12 to 18 who are required to travel to participate in state, national or international championships. Age eligibility for the new Local Para Champions program will be those aged 12 to 24.
Applicants receive between $500 and $750 towards the cost of attending championship events which help ease the financial burden on individuals and their families.
With the announcement of Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Local Sporting Champions program over the next decade will be pivotal in supporting both able bodied and para athletes attending state, national and international competitions.
At Tokyo 2020, more than 150 of the athletes competing for Australia received a Local Sporting Champions grant on their journey to the Olympics.
This included champion swimmer Ariarne Titmus who received a grant as a 13-year-old to attend her first Australian Age Championships in Sydney from her then home in Launceston.
“Everyone around Australia is eager to see the start of the green and gold decade, where Australia hosts many of the biggest and best international sporting competitions in the world, reaching its crescendo with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Minister Colbeck said.
The Morrison Government will also invest $5 million over two years to support the UCI Road World Championships 2022 being hosted by Wollongong – the first of a string of major sporting events.
“This Government support for the UCI Road World Championships will also help establish legacy programs which will work with young people in regional, rural and remote communities, and people with a disability to engage in the sport of cycling.”
MYEFO also details additional support for our Olympians and Paralympians.
“Of course, for many Australians our Olympians and Paralympians represent the pinnacle of achievement in world sport and the Morrison Government is ensuring the efforts of our Paralympians to bring victory and glory to Australia at the coming Beijing Winter Paralympics are rewarded,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Australia’s Tokyo Paralympians shared in $1 million in one-off medal bonuses from the Australian Government in recognition of the 13 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze medal haul from the delayed event held earlier this year.”
“We will also extend this one-off bonus to each Paralympic athlete who wins a medal at the upcoming Beijing Winter Paralympics recognising the extraordinary efforts these athletes go to particularly with the impact of the global pandemic.”
The Australian Government has also provided $2.1 million to support the Australian Olympic Team which competed at the Tokyo Games earlier this year. This funding is being provided to the Australian Olympic Committee to help cover unprecedented COVID-19 return quarantine costs for the hundreds of athletes and support staff who made up the Australian team.