Australia Mulls New Sports Lottery Idea

ASC Will Investigate New Lottery

Team Australia hasn’t received government funding increase in seven years.

Australia's official sports commission is mulling the idea of introducing a new lottery model, in the hope of funding some of the training and participation costs of Team Australia to the Tokyo Olympics.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) examined the UK national lottery scheme and the contribution made from this lottery's fund to the country's Olympic athletes.

While Australia's Winning Edge funding program gave $134 million to the Australian athletes, the UK national lottery scheme was able to raise four times as much ($476 million) for British Olympic participants.

"It is absolutely clear to me going forward that with no (government) funding increases in seven years, if Australia wants to remain competitive in world sport the financial challenge is increasing and the funding of sport has to increase," said ASC chairman John Wylie.

Australia Seeks Top Five Finish

The Australian Sports Commission would like - as would the whole country - to see Australia reach a top five finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In the recent Rio Olympics, Team Australia came in tenth place with eight gold medals, 11 silver medals and 10 bronze medals.

It is clear the national lottery funding helped British athletes break records by moving ahead of China to second place in the summer Olympics.

The UK netted 27 gold medals, 23 silver medals and 17 bronze medals.

"Other countries are investing more and the environment is much more competitive, and we owe it to our athletes to provide the necessary support," said John Wylie. "More funding will be needed and we have to think about where that funding will come from, so we want to look at a sports lottery. We are going to look at it very, very seriously."

Sports Lottery Worth Exploring

In a news interview, the CEO of the ASC said that it was definitely worth exploring a lottery system to fund Team Australia.

He said that it while it was too early to say whether the UK system is the right model for Australia, the ASC was going to investigate the idea.

In the meantime, an official review of Australia's performance in Rio will be carried out.