Budget announcement a boon for Australian golf
Golf is expected to benefit as much as any sport with a proposed $300m allocation for sport announced in the recent Federal Budget.
Fostering sport at the grass-roots level is as important in golf as any sport.
And the fact that the game is now played at Olympic level can only help golf and encourage youngsters into the game in the long run.
The Commonwealth Government announced it had committed more than $54 million over the next two years to the Australian Institute of Sport as it seeks to find the next generation of world-class athletes to inspire the nation.
Through Sport Australia, another $100m will be allocated to sporting schools, community sport infrastructure and social inclusion programs in regional areas.
The Sporting Schools program, of which golf is a key component, allows national sporting organisations to send development officers to schools to impart skills and encourage participation in all levels of sport.
The balance of the funding was committed to social and community infrastructure.
“We are absolutely delighted that the government has realised the importance of sport to the Australian way of life, and we’re excited that golf continues to be a large part of that,” said Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt.
“It goes without saying that we want to produce major and Olympic champions and create ambassadors for golf and the country through our elite athletes.”
“But golf, like all sports, is as much, if not more, about grass roots and participation.”
“Golf has proven benefits in health, happiness and well-being for the community, so we hope that our clubs and facilities can benefit from the budget in providing access to even more of the population who can benefit from our sport.”
GA high performance general manager Brad James was hopeful some of the increased cash available to the AIS would be available to golf.
“This is great news for Australian sport broadly, because the time and money required to identify and develop talented young athletes to the point that they can compete for international success and Olympic medals is enormous,” said James.
“History tells us that golf has been overlooked previously, but this time we believe that there is a perfect opportunity for the AIS to directly influence our elite athletes of the present and, more importantly, the future.”