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New Federal sports excellence programme.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2001          01/157


Australia’s continued high standing in international sport has been secured with record Federal Government funding of $408 million to back Australia’s champion athletes over the next four years.  This represents a $122.2 million increase in funding for high performance sport.

The initial four year funding commitment represents the first step in the unprecedented 10-year  plan for Australian sport - Backing Australia’s Sporting Ability - A More Active Australia.

“Australians proved themselves a great sporting nation at the Sydney 2000 Games. The new Sports Excellence Programme builds on these achievements and ensures that Australia’s continued high ranking at the leading edge of international sporting competition.

“The Government also recognises the importance of encouraging sporting excellence at World Championship level and major multi-sport events. High performance athletes with disabilities will also be further empowered to achieve greatness.

“High performance athletes are also strong role models for youngsters in Australian schools.  The Federal Government will work in partnership with the Australian Olympic Committee to provide an Olympic Youth Programme which will take these champions directly to Australian schools, particularly in regional and remote areas,” Jackie Kelly said.

Key initiatives in the strategy include maintaining our success through a national approach to elite athlete development that incorporates world-class coaching methods and procedures.

The Minister said the Government’s new sport policy will also keep Australia at the forefront of the fight against drugs in sport.

Sporting organisations will be encouraged to look at opportunities for athletes with disabilities to take part in main stream sporting programs and a restructured and revitalised Australian Sports Commission will provide support and services to assist national sporting organisations achieve their performance goals.

There will be ongoing assistance for  athletes preparing for international competitions including the Manchester 2002 and the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and in 2006, the Olympics and Paralympics to be held in Athens 2004 and again in 2008.

Media inquiries:  Sam Spurrett 0417 033876 CMR186-01

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