New Australian boss Chesterman will seek more public funding


Ian Chesterman, Australia’s Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, listens to a question during a news conference in Sydney, Australia August 24, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

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MELBOURNE, April 30 (Reuters) – New Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) boss Ian Chesterman will seek more government funding to continue the country’s rise in the medal rankings and retain talent ahead of the Olympics. organization of the 2032 Games in Brisbane.

Chesterman was elected president of the AOC at its annual general meeting on Saturday, replacing longtime supremo John Coates, who stepped down after 32 years at the helm of the governing body.

The Australian government has committed A$257 million ($182 million) over the three-year Olympic cycle for the 2024 Paris Games. Chesterman said he would seek more to ensure the nation can stay competitive.

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“Obviously we want to be successful in 2032. There has to be a change in the way we fund sport,” he told reporters in Sydney after beating rival candidate Mark Stockwell for the Premier League presidency. ‘AOC in a landslide.

“The AOC is doing a lot of work in this space right now with our member sports to try to come up with a new platform that allows the government to really invest in us so that we succeed in Paris, we succeed in Cortina and Milano. and we succeed in Los Angeles and then until 2032.”

Italy is hosting the next Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, while Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Games.

Australia won 17 gold medals in Tokyo to equal their record at the Athens Games in 2004 and won a record four medals at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

Coates has consistently demanded that successive governments step up support for athletes and has fought bitter public battles with the national sports funding agency, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), and its former chief John Wylie .

AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said the ASC stands ready to participate in the “conversation” about funding as the federal government has accepted AOC’s recommendations.

“It doesn’t guarantee that they (ASC) will like everything we say, but that’s life,” he said.

Securing funding to retain and develop talent in women’s sport will be a priority for Chesterman.

In recent years, career paths have opened up for women in major Australian sporting competitions, including the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL).

That could mean a tougher challenge to keep athletes focused on winning Olympic medals.

“We need to be able to tell young people not to… have a dream just to pursue the AFL or the NRL. Let’s pursue a dream of Olympic sports,” Chesterman said. “And then of course, for the youngest, dreaming of 2032.”

($1 = 1.4158 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Clarence Fernandez and William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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