01 March 2012

extra funding for Australian Olympic athletes

Minister announces extra Green and Gold funding injection@ASC

Minister for Sport Mark Arbib today announced a further $640,000 to targeted Olympic and Paralympic sports in the lead up to the London Games.

Senator Arbib said the injection was part of the Green and Gold Project which has now allocated almost $4.5 million in additional funding to assist Olympic and Paralympic athletes to succeed in London.

“With less than six months to go, the Australian Government is investing in the nation’s top performers to turn potential fourth, fifth and sixth places into medals and bronze and silver medals into gold,” Senator Arbib said.

“We are committed to giving our best sportspeople the necessary support to deliver in London and continue our proud success in Olympic and Paralympic sport.

“The Australian Government, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) are providing a solid platform to give our athletes every opportunity to succeed on the world stage.”

AOC President John Coates AC welcomed the announcement of more funding.

“Our athletes will derive enormous benefit from this funding as their preparation for London 2012 enters a crucial stage,” Mr Coates said.

“Ultimately the Federal Government is providing this funding in an attempt to get kids off the couch and out playing sport. To do that the kids need role models and the Olympic Games provides those role models.”

APC President Greg Hartung was also very pleased by the announcement of further funding.

“Australia has a proud history of success at the Paralympic Games, having finished in the top five at every Games since Atlanta in 1996,” Mr Hartung said.

“Since Beijing in 2008, more and more countries have increased their investment into Paralympic sport and in London we’re likely to see a tough battle for every medal.

“Only a few medals will make the difference between Australia finishing fifth on the medal tally or outside the top 10 and this additional funding will help close that gap and convert silver and bronze medals to gold and fourth and fifth places into medals.

“The Team that will represent Australia in London will be best prepared ever. Full credit goes to our athletes and their extended support base along with their coaches and managers.

“None of this is possible without the co-operation of the Australian Government.”

Senator Arbib said the Australian Institute of Sport was working with sports, athletes and the national institute network to ensure athletes were prepared.

“We have world renowned experts in Australia in the fields of coaching, sports science and sports medicine and they are absolutely committed to getting our athletes on the podium,” Senator Arbib said.

“With this in mind we are harnessing the skills of our best and brightest people to maximise our chances in London through the Green and Gold project.

“In addition we opened the AIS European Training Centre (ETC) in Varese Italy last year to provide a 'home away from home' for Australian athletes, many of whom will use the ETC as a base to launch their bid for victory in London.”

The Australian Government is a strong supporter of both high performance and participation in sport announcing record funding levels in late 2010.

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