Thursday 1. September, 2016

ASC Chief Supports Call for National Lottery to Support Olympians

The chairman of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), John Wylie, has said that a national lottery to help fund the Australian Olympic team for future Olympics is the way to go to help improve performance.

A lottery similar to the one in the UK which supports their Olympic athletes was suggested after the Australian Olympic team fell short of medal expectations at the Rio Games, as opposed to the British team which came in second in the medal count. Seventy percent of funding for the British team came from their national lottery.

Australia’s current funding program, the Winning Edge program which financially supports sports that are deemed to have a chance of winning, was slammed by Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president, John Coates, as unsuccessful. However, Wylie has said this program will continue as part of a ten-year plan, but would like to see the national lottery implemented in addition to it.

“The UK this year will invest around sixty percent more than Australia in high-performance sport, made possible in large measure due to its national lottery,” Wylie said.

“It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the British model is better and smarter than ours.”

“We at the ASC want to see an online national sports lottery introduced here, which we believe does not encourage irresponsible gambling.”

He did concede that legislation would be required to make this national lottery a reality and that the proposal is “a work in progress.”

While Wylie did admit that more funding would not have guaranteed more medals at the Rio Olympics, he did say that the world of sports is becoming more competitive and that more funding is required in the long-term to keep up with the additional demands that will be made of athletes.

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