The Mad Chatter is a leading Australian sports blogger and loves to chat about all things related to sport. I've built a following in the sports world by providing quality posts and opinions on the big issues in sport. It has been said that I'm the quintessential Aussie sports fan. I love all sports but I'm not scared to stick it to stupid players, hopeless administrators, woeful officials and dumb sponsors. You can follow The Mad Chatter's Mad Monologue via my Facebook page, Twitter account or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Like The Mad Chatter On Facebook
Back to Blog

The Crawford Report: Funding for Olympic or non-Olympic Sports

The Mad Chatter - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Australian Olympic Committee President John CoatesThe Australian sporting community is at war. A report funded by Kevin Rudd's Government has suggested that future funding for sport in Australia should focus more on sports that have a higher participation rate and not continue to provide additional money to Olympic sports just so we can stay in the top five ranked countries on the medal tally.

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said he was "pissed off" about the Crawford Report and why wouldn't he - he just lost a bid for an extra $100 million a year.

With only one bucket of money it is no surprise that the big hitters from the Olympic side of the house and those managing larger sports such as rugby league and AFL have been vocal to assure their balance sheet isn't afected by any new government policy.

The independent panel that compiled the report, led by BHP Billiton director and Lend Lease and Foster's Group chairman David Crawford, has rejected outright the Australian Olympic Committee's plea for an additional $100 million a year to keep Australia in the top five on the Olympic medal tally.

There are good arguments from both sides of the fence as to who should get the cash but one thing that must not be forgotten during the debate is the obesity epidemic facing Australia and the decline in child and teenage participation in sport or recreation activities.

Similarly, we can not dismiss the value of national pride when we win medals and at the same time we can't dismiss the need to increase physical activity in our youth.

So where to from here?

National peak sporting organistations are loving the Crawford Report and Olympic sports are blowing up.

 I believe the Federal Government should place the emphasis of sport funding on the following criteria:

  • participation rates
  • physical activity and health benefits
  • ability of sport to generate national pride
  • exisiting revenue structures such as sponsorship and television rights
  • Olympic or Winter Olympic status

No one formula is going to please all of the different sporting bodies so maybe it's time to sit down and work out what sports mean something to Australia and what sports we actually play. This would be a good start and may enable some sports like synchronised swimming to be cut immediately.  

However, I'm sure the debate on this issue will rattle on until someone in the Rudd Government makes a decision. Let's hope they do a better job with our sport than their asylum seeker policies.

What's your solution?

If you enjoyed this from The Mad Chatter why don't you 'SHARE' it with your friends.