Additional funding support for a number of Olympic and Paralympic sports is helping to fine-tune the preparations of Australian athletes and teams for the London 2012 Games.
2012 London bound Australian sailors Matt Belcher, Tom Slingsby, Jessica Crisp,Malcolm Page and Iain Jensen
The Australian Government has announced a further $640,000 for targeted sports in the lead-up to the London Games as part of the Green and Gold Project, which has now allocated almost $4.5 million in additional funding.
The extra support is aimed at helping the nation’s top performers to turn potential fourth, fifth and sixth places into medals, and bronze and silver medals into gold.
Yachting Australia is one of the leading sports receiving extra funding, with $310 000 now allocated to the Australian Sailing Team through the project, on top of the sport’s annual high performance funding of $5.4 million*.
With a host of team and individual Australian sailing crews set to challenge for medals in London, the sport has invested the extra support in a range of activities to give it a competitive edge at the 2012 Games.
This includes the recruitment of extra sports science expertise, accommodation assistance for non-Sydney based athletes to live and train at the new high performance centre in Sydney, and the retention of senior coaches.
Sailing currently has three crews and athletes ranked in the top three in the world, including Tom Slingsby (laser), Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (470), and Iain Jensen and Nathan Outteridge (49er).
Slingsby, the current laser world champion, says the experience he gained competing at the Beijing 2008 Olympics holds him in good stead ahead of the London Games.
In January 2001, the Australian Institute of Sport and Yachting Australia established the AIS Sailing program, which is currently administered from Yachting Australia’s offices in Sydney.
Australian Sailing Team website
AIS Sailing program here
Australian Sports Commission website