Netball Australia, Australia’s number one sport for women and girls, has welcomed the Australian Government’s sports funding commitments in the Federal budget.
More than $385 million was committed within Tuesday’s budget to support important sport initiatives such as Sport Australia’s national Sporting Schools program, the Women Leaders in Sport Program and wellbeing and financial support programs for athletes within the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner says the Federal Government’s commitments to sport, from grassroots and schools right through to the elite levels, will go a long way to increasing Australia’s already strong connection to netball.
“Netball remains Australia’s pre-eminent sport for women and girls and it enriches and connects communities right around the country. Generations have grown up playing it and the involvement and connection to the game can be lifelong,” she said.
“The Government’s ongoing investment will play an important role in empowering women through sport, whilst increasing netball’s footprint by providing more opportunities for Australians to get involved and stay involved.”
The increase in Sporting Schools funding will bring netball to even more young Australians who may not be able to initially access the sport outside of schools. In 2018, more than 45,000 students had the opportunity to experience netball through Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools programs, potentially kickstarting their lifelong active journey.
Netball Australia was pleased to learn of an increased funding commitment to the Women Leaders in Sport Program and the $23.6 million commitment to strengthen social inclusion through sport will boost netball’s mission journey to be a sport representative of a rapidly-changing Australian society.
In addition, the Government has committed $54 million over the next two years to the AIS to provide substantially improved development opportunities for talented young athletes around the country, fund enhanced athlete wellbeing and personal development initiatives and improve financial support for athletes.
This commitment will ensure current and future Australian Diamonds have access to the health and wellbeing support necessary to deal with the pressures of being an elite athlete and the direct financial athlete support will also enable the Diamonds to focus on training and competitions leading into the 2019 and 2023 Netball World Cups and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Netball Australia also welcomes the $33 million committed to establish Sport Integrity Australia, a body dedicated to dealing with issues concerning poor integrity, corruption and incidents of unethical behaviour.