Football Federation Australia (FFA) today welcomed news that the Federal Government has committed more than $158 million of fresh investment to Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to deliver on the national sport plan, Sport 2030.
Importantly, the new investment includes additional funding for participation initiatives such as the national Sporting Schools program and Community Sport Infrastructure Grant program – two programs FFA currently engages with as football participation continues to grow across the nation.
FFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Gallop AM, explained that in 2018 Sporting Schools Football programs were delivered to over 98,000 participants in over 900 Primary and High Schools across Australia, and additional funding would enable football to interact and engage more kids over the coming years.
“Football engaged with nearly 100,000 kids via the Sporting Schools program last year,” Gallop said.
“While the program delivers a great participation outcome, it also provides Australia’s Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs in each market the opportunity to develop fans.
“The Sporting Schools program is a major component of the National Schools Strategy that FFA is currently redeveloping, as it provides an equal opportunity for both girls and boys to be introduced to football.
“Football has been able to measure and benchmark the transition of participants from Sporting Schools programs to local Clubs, and our data highlights that over twenty per cent of participants make the transition from school visit to local Club registration,” he said.
Sport 2030 was launched in August last year and the plan aims to make Australia the most active and healthy sporting nation, known for its integrity and sporting success. Sport 2030 targets all members of the community to be more engaged in sport and physical activity throughout every stage of their life.
Since its launch in 2015, Sporting School has funded more than 7,100 schools and there have been almost 4.8 million attendances in Sporting School activities.
On Tuesday the Federal Government also announced a funding commitment of more than $54 million, primarily to support emerging athletes of the future over the next two years.
Sport Australia Chair John Wylie thanked the Australian Government and Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie for the investment.
“This funding is critical to the future of Australian sport,” Wylie said. “In Olympic sport, it can take eight to 12 years to identify a talented young athlete with potential and develop them to be contending for medals at major international events.”
“[This investment] is recognition that sport and physical activity are incredibly important to Australians,” he said.