Cricket, swimming take hit in Australian sports-funding overhaul

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Cricket, gymnastics and swimming will take funding hits while rugby league and basketball will enjoy noteworthy boosts in an overhaul of annual participation distributions that sports receive from Australian taxpayers.

Federal Minister for Health and Sport Sussan Ley will announce in Sydney on Thursday what is hoped will be a clearer, and more accountable, method of sharing the $22million sports will receive in 2015-16 specifically to encourage people to participate.

In what the Australian Sports Commission has called a new “categorisation framework”, seven sports – football, basketball, cricket, soccer, netball, rugby league and tennis – have received top-tier classification. Based on their leading participation figures, these “category A” sports will receive the new maximum annual participation distribution sum of $950,000 from the government.

At the lower end, category F sports, which in 2015-16 will include Olympic disciplines boxing, diving and weightlifting, will receive a $50,000 allocation.

The redesign of participation funding follows a 12-month review and restructuring. While Fairfax has been told all sports support the logic of being more accountable about participation data, it is understood some are unhappy about their classifications.

Gymnastics – rated a category B sport by the ASC in the new scheme and eligible for $650,000 in participation funding from the government – is said to be a case in point.

The revamp will also cause some sports, notably swimming, to adjust their future participation budgets.

Swimming received $866,000 in participation funds from the government in 2014-15, but having now been ranked as a category B sport it qualifies for only a $650,000 sum.

Sports in this position will receive “transition funding” in 2015-16. For the past four years swimming has had what is now considered a relatively over-funded participation distribution contribution from government.

In that period it received an additional $250,000 per annum for the area, and its 2014-15 participation total from government was $866,000.

Read The Sydney Morning Herald

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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