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richard colbeck government

Australian Government Pledges $17 Million For Sport Participation

T
he Australian Government is aiming to encourage greater participation in sport by providing National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) and National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability (NSODs) with $17 million grant funding.

A media release from the department of health reports 55 national organisations will receive a share of $17.26 million in the coming financial year.

NSOs that will receive funding range from baseball and netball to rowing, judo and more while the NSODs include organisations like Special Olympics, Transplant Australia, Deaf Australia, and many others.

Minister for sport, Richard Colbeck, said the funding will help sporting organisations and provide certainty as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last financial year, sports were provided with greater flexibility on how they could use their core participation funding allocations and in many instances this funding helped sporting organisations remain viable,” Colbeck said.

“The funding can be used to assist sports in a number of ways, including developing new programs to meet the needs of today’s sporting participants, ensuring they have access to safe and affordable equipment, or by providing professional development opportunities to upskill community volunteers,” he said.

Speaking on the announcement by Colbeck, Sport Australia acting CEO Rob Dalton, said this year’s focus will shift from survival to growth.

“We thank the government for supporting Sport Australia to continue this critical funding as clubs across the country push to bring back participants and attract new people as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic,” Dalton said.

“We have retained core participation funding allocations at the same levels as 2020, however this year the focus for sports is a lot different to last year where in many instances the funding was necessary just to ensure their survival.

“In 2021, our sports are developing new programs to attract and retain even more participants as well as committing extra resources to upskill their volunteers,” he said.

Touch Football Australia (TFA) CEO, Jamie O’Connor, who will be speaking at the upcoming Women in Sport Summit 2021, said the funding would be used to help hold events like the Cold Climate Classic as well as to help deliver on TFA’s new Strategic and Operational Plan.

“It will assist in the improvement of our systems, create inclusive offerings, establish new educational frameworks and continue the development of our competition management software,” O’Connor said.

“This ongoing investment enables us to continue to develop our products and to enhance the experience we provide our people which, in turn, will see more people engage with sport,” he said.

Sport Inclusion Australia CEO, Robyn Smith, noted how important the funding was in allowing the organisations to deliver inclusive services.

“We are seeing more sporting organisations and clubs include programs which focus on the ability of the individual, such as Tennis Australia’s inclusive events and Cricket Australia’s National Cricket Inclusion Championships which is great to see,” Smith said.

“We welcome this funding which will help is to continue to advocate for inclusion in all sports,” she said.

The department of health advises funds can be accessed from 1 July, 2021.