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Minister for Sport announces funding boost for winter sports

09 October 2023

Australia’s world beating winter sports athletes have received a timely boost, with extra funding committed to support their preparations for the 2026 Milano Cortina Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Four people standing beside a pool, at the base of an aerial skiing ramp
ASC CEO Kieren Perkins, moguls Olympic gold medalist Jakara Anthony, Minister for Sport Anika Wells MP and moguls Olympic silver medalist Matt Graham at the Geoff Henke Olympic Winter Training Centre.

The announcement of an extra $1.1 million to winter sports sector was made by the Minster for Sport, the Hon Anika Wells, at the Geoff Henke Olympic Winter Training Centre in Brisbane’s Sleeman Sports Complex on Monday.

The training centre is home to some of Australia’s most exciting athletes including moguls Olympic gold medalist Jakara Anthony and world number one female aerial skier Danielle Scott, who joined the Minister for the announcement.

The funding boost for the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia ($770,000) and Snow Australia ($331,100) follows the Australian Government’s recent $20 million investment via the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation Fund.

Minister Wells said the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) was committed to ensuring sustainable success at Paris, Milano Cortina and beyond.

“We are coming off the back of our best ever Winter Olympics medal haul in Beijing and I know our athletes are looking to better that in 2026,” said Minister Wells.

"While all our athletes make enormous sacrifices to train and compete at an elite level, winter sport athletes have the added hurdle of limited natural conditions.

“This funding will ensure our Winter Olympians and Paralympians receive the support they need to inspire the next generation to be involved in winter sports,” Minister Wells said.

The Australian Government invested in the $6.5 million Geoff Henke Olympic Winter Training Centre, which allows athletes to train in their home country all year round, regardless of the conditions.

“This facility speaks to the collaboration and innovation in Australian sport that has me so excited about the opportunities ahead of us as part of the Green and Gold decade,” Minister Wells said.

Softball Australia ($196,350) and Baseball Australia ($61,600) also received funding for their high-performance programs.

While not on the 2024 Paris Olympic program, Softball Australia and Baseball Australia have their sights set on getting to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said the funding would allow sports to plan and invest accordingly, especially the winter sports as they approach the halfway mark of their games cycle.

“Just like our athletes preparing for the summer Olympics and Paralympics, our winter athletes are facing the same challenges due to rising costs to get to key events in the lead up to Milano Cortina in 2026,” Mr Perkins said.

“Our athletes continue to achieve incredible feats around the world and this recent investment, coupled with the expertise available to them, will allow them the opportunity to perform at their best on the world stage.

“I’d like to thank the Australian Government and Minister Wells for their continued support of the sector and allowing the Australian Sports Commission to allocate funds to these sports as they build towards key benchmark events.”

The Milano Cortina Winter Olympics are scheduled from 6-22 February, 2026 with the Paralympics taking place from 6-15 March, 2026.

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