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Increased funding for Australian Paralympic Committee critical in recognising disabled athletes: Steele-John


Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Australian Greens have endorsed the Australian Paralympic Committee’s (APC) Federal Election Priorities Submission report, and committed to providing $15.85 million over the next four years to improve the provision of high performance sport and participation programs for disabled people.

Disabled Sports spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John met with APC today to confirm the Australian Greens commitment to equal access in sport for disabled people, and the ongoing success of Australia’s Paralympic program.

“Increasing funding for APC is about more than gold medal success, it is about recognising disabled athletes at the same level as we do our Olympic athletes and supporting grassroots disabled sporting communities to grow,” Steele-John said.

“We continue to see a great disparity of tens, even hundreds, of millions available between our Olympic and paralympic athletes every four years, which is a direct reflection of the way in which our society continues to treat disabled people differently at every level.

“I want to see a Paralympic movement that is well funded, well connected and can properly support and invest in the next generation of disabled athletes.

“With the influence of some of our incredible athletes like Kurt Fearnley and Madi de Rozario, and the recent success of the Rio Paralympics and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, we are seeing a growing appreciation, respect and excitement for our Paralympians – which is at it should be!

“Properly funding the APC goes part of the way towards bridging that gap, ending discrimination and helping more disabled Australians get into sport!”

Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) CEO Lynne Anderson said: "The APC welcomes and appreciates the support of the Australian Greens in endorsing our key priorities that are integral to our ongoing success.”

“We are enormously proud of the growth of Para-sport in Australia in recent years and the growing recognition, support and respect for our athletes. Funding support for APC programs and the Australian Paralympic Team Tokyo campaign is critical to this continuing.

“This support will also allow us to foster pathways to increase opportunities for people with disability to participate in sport at all levels, and break down some barriers about disability and inclusion along the way."

Key points of the APC Federal Election Priorities Submission Paper:

  • $8 million to the Tokyo 2020 campaign;
  • $1.25 million to establish an accreditation program for the creation of a Paralympic Sports Centre for Excellence;
  • $1.25 million to improve classification education and accreditation;
  • $1.08 million to expand talent search initiatives;
  • $1 million to create a para-sport equipment fund to reduce the cost burden for our athletes;
  • $920,000 to promote inclusion in disability to Aboriginal Australians;
  • $900,000 to improve paralympic education in schools;
  • $850,000 to develop a ‘Get involved’ app to promote engagement with para-sport; and
  • $600,000 to map disability pathways to sport and identify barriers facing entry and ongoing participation.

Media contact:

Tim Oliver (Senator Steele-John) – 0448 316 387

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