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Athletes praise Australian Government’s historic investment in sport

04 July 2024

Athletes have welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to invest a record $283 million in sport over the next two years.

Prime Minister The Hon Anthony Albanese made the announcement at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) alongside the Minister for Sport, The Hon Anika Wells.

The impact of this historic investment, which doubles the existing support for para sport, was not lost on the dozens of athletes in attendance, including Olympic legend Cate Campbell.

“Athletes don't reach the pinnacle of their sport overnight,” Campbell said.

“There are years and years spent working and toiling away to get to the point where you can compete for your country, so to support up-and-coming athletes become elite athletes is so important.”

Campbell especially welcomed the $17.6 million investment over two years to the Direct Athlete Support Grants (dAIS) to address cost of living pressures.

“To have funding that goes directly into athlete’s pockets will be a huge weight off their shoulders and allow them to focus on their training,” she said.

“We need athletes to stay in the pathways because they're going to be the stars of the future.”

The $54.9 million additional para sport funding will address better classification opportunities, access to fit-for-purpose training environments, and specialised coaching and performance support.

Wheelchair racer Angie Ballard, who will co-captain Australia’s Paralympic team in Paris, believes the investment is essential for sustainable success.

“This is huge. I've been involved in para sport since I was a kid and nothing has ever happened like this,” Ballard said.

“It's going to change the landscape moving forward. There’s going to be people that haven't even started para sport yet that might be looking at Brisbane 2032, but they need time to develop, time to get better, and this is going to make that difference.”

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Athletes have praised the Australian Government’s record $283 million investment in sport, which will support athletes, coaches, and support staff over the first two years of the four-year cycle to the LA 2028 Games.

Sprinter Chad Perris, who will compete at his third Paralympics in Paris, said the para sport funding is particularly encouraging just weeks out from the Games.

“It’s incredible. On the eve of Paris 2024, having the support is something we're really excited about,” Perris said.

“It’s a small step to having complete equality and funding for para-athletes and able-body athletes and Olympians and Paralympians alike.”

And while she may be cheering from the sidelines this year after calling time on her incredible swimming career, Campbell agrees that the announcement’s timing is perfect.

“As we head towards the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, the athletes who are preparing know that they have not only have the support of the nation, but the backing and the funding from the government as well,” Campbell added.

“Hopefully that will inspire them to put in their best performances over in Paris.”

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