7 Reasons Why Australian Sport Deserves More Funding Than The Arts

Our nation's proud 63-years of competing under the Official Australian Flag is one that has produced many household names and unforgettable memories.

7 Reasons Why Australian Sport Deserves More Funding Than The Arts

8 December, 2015 10:05

CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT

The Australian Sports Commission is a Government agency responsible for providing strategic guidance, leadership and funding for all Australian sports that don’t generate an income of their own.

Alongside their world-renowned training facility, The Australian Institute Of Sport, this ASC sits within the portfolio of Australia’s Department Of Health – and has provided our proud nation with endless memories and champions since it’s inception.

As outlined in Australia’s Winning Edge Investment Allocation: Between 2013-2014, the Australian Government put aside $119,828,526 for Australian sport.

However, just like the Snowy River Scheme and any other great triumph of the Australian Government, there will always be those who disapprove of what the government does with tax-payer dollars.

Writers, artists, sculptors, musicians and actors are all forced to work in cafes and hotels while they train, practice and refine their art – with not even a government loan to help pay the bills, let alone funding. Many of them feel they too should get a bit of help from our Government.

This is an age old argument and one that we have decided to pick a part with the following list of 7 Reasons Why Australian Sport Deserves More Funding Than The Arts:

1. NATIONAL PRIDE

Our opening ceremony for the Australian Olympics Team. A very stirring and emotional moment for all Australians back home.
Our opening ceremony for the Australian Olympics Team. A very stirring and emotional moment for all Australians back home.

There is no quicker way to unite a country as diverse as Australia than by completely saturating all media outlets with 24-hour-coverage of twenty-eight different sporting events on the other side of the earth.

You might not know their names, but they are wearing the green and gold… and that should make you cheer for them. Even louder than you would cheer for the Kenyan child soldier who escaped Joseph Kony only to comfortably beat our proud Aussie athletes by three laps.

2. GLORY

The golden boy of Australian tennis, Nick Kyrgios, is a perfect example of how hard word, support and funding can pay for the Australian government.
The golden boy of Australian tennis, Nick Kyrgios, is a perfect example of how hard word, support and funding can pay for the Australian government.

Academics and self-expression has, and always will, take a backseat to our nation’s competitive edge. Young Aussie kids grow up wanting the be the fastest, strongest, toughest and fittest, and these dreams can only be realised through the help of intense government intervention from a very early age.

We don’t want our kids going down to the park with Dad, we want our kids going to down to Canberra for a few sessions on the court with Lleyton!

3. FAMILY

Thon Maker (18) is an Australian-Sudanese playing basketball for Canada's Athlete Institute. Despite intitially being overlooked by Australian selectors, Maker is considered a five-star recruit in North America
Thon Maker (18) is an Australian-Sudanese playing basketball for Canada’s Athlete Institute. Despite intitially being overlooked by Australian selectors, Maker is considered a five-star recruit in North America

Without the strict and stringent procedures put in place to obtain and distribute funding to approved sporting programs, our nation would not be able to boast such a large list of different sporting family dynasties. This means that Basketball Australia would have to look outside the immediate families of their own staff members in order to fill representative sides.

Forget those 7-foot Sudanese-Australian teenagers from Blacktown, the assistant manager of Basketball Victoria has a son that can rain threes!

4. PERFORMANCE

The annual Archibald Portrait Prize is often referred to as “The Melbourne Cup Of Art” – This is because a vast majority of Australia would not be able to grasp the importance of this event without some sort of reference to human athleticism – or at least the athleticism of livestock.

Julie Fison, Archibald 2014 finalist Alan Jones and Archibald 2014 winner Fiona Lowry with Jones' portrait of Adam Goodes - an Australian footballer who is more popular than the entire Australian art scene.
Julie Fison, Archibald 2014 finalist Alan Jones and Archibald 2014 winner Fiona Lowry with Jones’ portrait of Adam Goodes – an Australian footballer who is more popular than the entire Australian art scene.

If our nation’s artists can’t win over the greater public with 900 of the best portraits our country has on offer, they certainly don’t deserve the same amount of government support as our athletes, who have proven time and time again that they are able to secure television contracts and endorsement deals off the back of their successes.

A true measure of self-determination and commitment.

It is for this reason, that more emphasis needs to be placed on making sure our young kids and young horses are the fittest and fastest in the world.

5. LEGACY

Our nation’s proud 63-years of competing under the Official Australian Flag is one that has produced many household names and unforgettable memories.

Who could forget when our Prime Minister got drunk after a boat race and told everyone on live television that they didn’t have to go to work for the day!

Or the time our national treasure, Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser, was accused of stealing an Olympic flag from a flagpole outside Emperor Hirohito’s palace during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics – or the Stillnox drama of 2012.

These kids are having the time of their lives, and all the fans back home are cheering them on.

6. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue enters the Sydney 2000 Olympics closing ceremony on top of a giant thong, which was being carried by life savers. An iconic moment in the Australian narrative.
Australian pop star Kylie Minogue enters the Sydney 2000 Olympics closing ceremony on top of a giant thong, which was being carried by life savers. An iconic moment in the Australian narrative.

It makes far more sense to fill stadiums with young Australian athletes than it does to fill museums with paintings and statues.

Our performances in the international sporting arena are timeless, it’s our best way of communicating the current state of our national condition.

Sport has proven itself as one of the very few ways people are able to communicate with each other despite political, cultural and environmental differences. Art, music and theatre cannot do this.

7. HEALTH

Sally Robbins' lack of mental toughness was a direct result of not enough funding. Rowing Australia is only designated $7.2k a year.
Sally Robbins’ lack of mental toughness was a direct result of not enough funding. Rowing Australia is only designated $7.2m a year.

It is imperative with Australia’s love for fast food and sitting, that we combat these scourges from an early age, this can only be done through Government funding – it has been proven.

Creativity, academics, articulation and self-awareness is something people can do on their own time or in the allocated school hours.

Sport only plays a role in the life of an everyday Australian child for seven hours a week during school, and potentially eight hours a week after school.

And on the television on Monday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday arvo, Boxing Day, ANZAC Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Grand Final Day and for several months at a time during the RWC, FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games.

So there it is, 7 Reasons Why Australian Sport Deserves More Funding Than The Arts. 

If you disagree with this, please email editor@betootaadvocate.com.au – we would love to know your thoughts.

In the meanwhile, please look at the dismal numbers that are actually allocated to our heavily stretched sporting organisations each year.

Swimming Australia $8,781,000

Cycling Australia (including BMX Australia) $7,952,500

Rowing Australia $7,289,400

Athletics Australia $6,866,400

Yachting Australia $6,846,400

Hockey Australia $6,701,800

Basketball Australia $5,696,400

Australian Paralympic Committee $4,580,000

Australian Canoeing $4,308,000

Water Polo Australia Ltd $3,171,000

Winter Sports (including Olympic Winter Institute, Ski and Snowboard Australia) $2,707,645

Australian Volleyball Federation $2,524,000

Gymnastics Australia  $3,188,971

Football Federation Australia $3,216,000

Triathlon Australia $2,506,400

Equestrian Australia $2,477,000

Diving Australia $2,142,200

Netball Australia $3,044,900

Australian International Shooting $2,036,200

Softball Australia $1,626,800

To see the rest, look at Australia’s Winning Edge Investment Allocation.