- Oct 26, 2012
- AFL Club
What sport are you involved with, out of curiosity?At a national sports organisation level, without corporate sponsorship or independent revenues (ticket sales, merchandise, etc.), the sports are reliant on government funding. No shocking information there.
The current, though increasingly unpopular, funding model is called "Winning Edge". It is designed to deliver the most olympic medals possible, a bang for your buck idea. Rather than support participation, the money is put into sports which have a high chance of winning, prefereably multiple, olympic medals (swimming, sailing, shooting and the like).
Having been involved in NSO business, there are sports where despite an increase in participation, funding is cut. The AIS has been gutted, there are only a small handful of sports still based there. The sports science department, an absolute world leader in it's field, has been decimated. There are presently more administrators than athletes. The primary function for the AIS now is tours and to host school camp groups.
There have been reasonable and audited participation surveys from Sport Australia that say that participation numbers are mostly steady, but slightly down for contact sports.
The sport I am involved with has been told that even if we qualify for Tokyo (which is the hardest tournament in the sport to outright qualify for) there is no guarantee of continued levels of funding. A failure to qualify would almost certainly result in a decreased funding. Our national junior program is almost entirely athlete funded, not unlike many non first tier sports. We are a long way from winning olympic medals. But we host the largest, most gender equal, school participation event in the country (potentially the southern hemisphere). Our men are ranked in the top 15 in the world, and achieved their best ever result at world championships within the current olympic cycle. Our women have moved up thirty places in the last few years on the back of an athlete funded full time program. Our best coaches are being hired by other countries to run their national and/or junior development programs on the back of the work at the AIS since Sydney. Yet the government funding becomes smaller and smaller.
If you are not a sport with an Olympic medal chance or a big TV audience, you are simply being asked to do more with less. So the results are less.
With rugby's diminishing TV audience, they are at risk of falling into the same boat as the rest of us.