Australia’s Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates has thrown ‘100% support’ behind calls for an A$50 million (£29.86 million) lottery to boost funding for sport in the country.
The proposal comes after Australia’s disappointing 10th place finish in the medals table at Rio 2016, which continued a decline from fourth place in both Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004).
Coates made the following comments: “We are 100 percent supportive of the lottery proposal. Olympic sport is in desperate need of funding. We are being out-funded by other countries, particularly Britain and Germany. I would give the lottery wholehearted support and I hope it gets up.”
Meanwhile John Wylie, Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, said that Australia had reached a ‘moment of truth’, and called on the government to set up the online lottery by the end of the year to keep the country competitive in the face of rising spending by their rivals.
Wylie said: “We are on a burning deck in terms of our international performance. There is no better evidence of that than what has been happening at the Olympic Games. If we are going to remain competitive internationally, if we are going to have a healthy and active society, we need to invest significantly more in the system.”
The Australian Sports Commission provides most of the funding for Olympic sports, but has seen its government grant decline over the last five years. Conversely, Great Britain has benefited from a huge increase in funding for elite sport via its national lottery and finished second in the table at Rio.