Australia may follow British lead on Olympic funding
For years, Britain has envied the efficiency with which the Australian sporting structure turns out elite athletes who excel on the international stage. Now, following Britain's historic success at the Beijing Olympics, the boot is, so to speak, on the other foot.
The Australian team returned home to a rapturous welcome yesterday, but the country remains dejected about its sixth-placed medals ranking – two behind Britain. After meeting athletes at Sydney airport, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said he intended to review Olympic sports funding, and would consider whether to adopt the British model of lottery revenue.
The National Lottery, introduced in 1994, has raised millions of pounds for British sport. Mr Rudd voiced caution, saying: "There's been some studies, apparently, by previous [Australian] governments of this... which have said it may not work. We want to have another look at it, because it's a positive, constructive idea."
The Australian Institute of Sport has long been regarded by Britain as a model for promoting excellence in sport. But Australia is smarting at the way Britain overshadowed it in Beijing, with the former bringing home 14 gold medals compared with Britain's 19. Mr Rudd exhorted athletes to start preparing for the London Olympics, and to "spoil the party" for the British in 2012. He said that sports funding would be boosted.
"The government is funding a large slab of investment in community level sport, school sports, indigenous sports, but also we're not going to be backtracking when it comes to funding for Olympic level sports either," he said. The Sports Minister, Kate Ellis, has said in the past that she "doubts very much" whether a lottery funding system would be viable in Australia.
l Olympic 400 metres gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu will top the bill at the Aviva British Grand Prix on Sunday. Britain's only track and field champion in Beijing will miss the IAAF Golden League meeting in Zurich on Friday to run at Gateshead.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League final preview: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.