Will better funding allocation complement the Australian national team in 2020 Tokyo Olympics? Here’s our in-depth look on how the lottery can help our quest for gold.
UK finished second in the 2016 Rio Olympics; Australia is at tenth place with 8 golds, 11 silvers, and 10 bronze medals. Thanks to the British national lottery, the substantial funding for athletes has paid off. The Brits has already surpassed Olympic powerhouse China to take the second overall rankings in the recent Olympics. Australia is now looking to duplicate the feat by improving financial assistance to Aussie athletes through national lottery.
So how did UK climbed to the upper echelon of Olympic rankings? Thanks to the national lottery, British athletes have received US $361.24 in funding to complement their training and development. Arguably, Australia had a quite disappointing finish at the recently concluded 2016 Rio Olympics, especially if you’re considering how the UK managed to dethrone China and placed second overall in the Olympic rankings.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is already studying how the British national lottery has helped UK’s athletes. There are two issues that they are looking at; firstly, if Australia needs a British-style national lottery to fund athletes, secondly, how funding should be distributed evenly for training and development.
How UK Used the Lottery for Olympic Success
The UK sports program and development owes it success to former Prime Minister John Major. Major proposed to establish the national lottery in 1991, and in 1994, UK has established the British Lottery System with allocation distributed as 50% of the returns covers the prize pool, 28% to community and good causes, and 12% to the government.
Today, British athletes have reaped the fruits of their training, as well as, Major’s lottery proposal. The funding model is called “No Compromise” where underrated sports which don’t win medals have been the focus of the funding initiatives. The UK allocated $478 million to its sports programs for four years leading to its successful finish in Rio.
Does Australia have the Winning Edge in Tokyo 2020?
The British National Lottery was a big factor in improving its sports programs, which paid off by placing second in Rio. The same story couldn’t be told in Australia. Taxpayers were asked to cover a $376 million bill to prepare the Australian Olympic team in four years only to finish 10th in the overall Olympic rankings. The ASC is now considering to propose a similar funding approach through the national lottery. This will help fund the country’s sports program and development as it sets it sights for a top 5 finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie is now urging the Federal Government seek alternative yet practical revenue sources that will be properly allocated to its sports programs “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,” Wylie said, according to the news report.