Pitt: Sports budget good news

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Stephen Pitt is delighted about the sports focus of the budget

Golf Australia's chief executive, Stephen Pitt, has allocated a $ 300 million allocation to sports in the federal budget on Tuesday evening.

Pitt said the commitment, spread over two years, was of great importance, not only in Australia's efforts to remain prominent in elitist level competition, but even more so at the base level.

The Commonwealth government has announced that it will spend more than $ 54 million on the Australian Institute of Sport over the next two years, while trying to find the next generation of world-class athletes to inspire the nation.

A further $ 100 million is allocated through Sport Australia to Sporting Schools, community sports infrastructure and social inclusion programs & # 39; s in regional areas.

The Sporting Schools program, of which golf is a key component, offers national sports organizations the opportunity to send development staff to schools to impart skills and encourage participation in all levels of sport

The balance of the financing was intended for social and community infrastructure.

"We are delighted that the government has realized the importance of sport for the Australian way of life, and we are pleased that golf is still a big part of it," Pitt said.

"It goes without saying that we want to create ambassadors of golf and the country for great and Olympic champions through our top athletes."

"But golf, like all other sports, is just as much, if not more, about grass roots and participation.

"Golf has proven health, happiness and well-being benefits for the community, so we hope that our clubs and facilities can take advantage of the budget by providing access to even more of the people who can benefit from our sport."

GA high performance general manager Brad James hoped that part of the increased money available for the AIS would be available for golf.

"This is great news for Australian sport in general, because the time and money needed to identify and develop talented young athletes to the point that they can compete for international success and Olympic medals is huge," James said .

"History tells us that golf has been overlooked earlier, but this time we believe that there is a perfect opportunity for AIS to directly influence our top athletes from the present and, more importantly, from the future."

Sports Australia Chairman John Wylie and AIS CEO Peter Conde welcomed the funding incentive that will offer significantly improved development opportunities to talented young athletes across the country. It will also contribute to better athlete welfare and personal development initiatives and improved, income-related financial support for athletes.

"This financing is crucial to the future of Australian sport," Wylie said.

"It will significantly improve the ability of the AIS to discover our champions of the future and give young Australians all over the country better opportunities to realize their potential to come out of club sport to represent their region in their state and ultimately in their country.

"In the Olympic sport, it can take eight to twelve years to identify and develop a talented young athlete with potential to win medals at major international events. It requires long-term planning and dedication; it is an investment in the future. "

Conde said: "Sport has told us that athletics trails are an ongoing challenge, so this funding is a great result for the future of high-performance Australian sport.

"This funding allows AIS, in collaboration with sports and the National Institute Network, to pay more attention to issues such as talent identification and broadening our specialized coaching support for young athletes.

The well-being and personal development of athletes remains an important AIS priority.

Further investments will now be made in areas such as mental health care, involvement of athletes in their communities and transition support for retired athletes.

"Sport Australia and AIS thank the Australian government and sports minister Bridget McKenzie for this investment. It is a recognition that sport and exercise are incredibly important for Australians," said Wylie

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