Major funding boost for Australian athletes

Volleyball Australia considers the injection of more than $54 million over the next two years to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as critical to build pathways for talented young Australians, including those wishing to develop in the sport of volleyball. This boost in funding was announced in Tuesday night’s Federal Budget.

This will fill a gap in the sports funding strategy and providing funding to build pathways for athletes will establish more sustainable success across all sports into the future.

Through this funding, volleyball players, along with other sports throughout Australia, will gain opportunities that will build on their potential, from club level, to national representation.

AIS CEO Peter Conde, in response to the funding announcement, said, “This funding will enable the AIS, in partnership with sports and the National Institute Network, to place a greater focus on things such as talent identification and broadening our specialist coaching support for young athletes.”

Conde said the new funding would also enable the AIS to invest more directly in sports and athletes. “Athletes are at the very heart of what we do and so the AIS will be increasing our annual direct support grants—dAIS—to athletes by more than 16 per cent to $14million a year,” Conde said. “These dAIS grants are in addition to AIS sport investment and they are means-tested, so this support goes directly to athletes who need it most to allow them more time to train, prepare and compete.”

Volleyball Australia also welcomes the added commitment made by the AIS, as a result of this additional funding, in areas such as mental health, athlete engagement with their communities and transition support for retiring athletes. The AIS Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement division will be able to provide greater support for athletes so they are equipped to enjoy life success and not just podium success.

The Australian Government’s Federal Budget delivered more than $158 million of new investment to Sport Australia and the AIS, to deliver on the national sport plan, Sport 2030.

Volleyball Australia thanks the Australian Government and Minister for Sport, Bridget McKenzie, for this investment, which recognizes the multiple benefits that sport can play in the lives of so many Australians. Volleyball Australia looks forward to seeing the final details of the funding.