Post Olympic Observations from Badminton CEO, Paul Brettell

Written by  Thursday, 16 August 2012 17:49

Badminton Australia ( BA ) applauds the efforts of its representatives in London, congratulates all on their achievements and welcomes them home. BA has already commenced a review of the way forward with key targets being 2014 Glasgow, 2016 Rio and 2018 on the Gold Coast and welcomes input from all interested persons on the best way forward.

Brettell noted that there had been enormous media coverage on overall performances at the Games with a particular emphasis on some traditional sports who have been generously treated for many years and who failed to achieve the results to which they aspired. He further noted that now that the excitement had passed it presents an excellent opportunity for the Government, ASC/AIS , AOC and national federations to ask fundamental questions about past funding decisions and for all to keep an open mind about the best way forward. One of the issues that has not been addressed in the past, despite being identified in the Crawford Report, was the need for increased funding diversification by the ASC/AIS to take into account Australia’s changed population demographics. Traditional sports may not be “ traditional “ anymore and as such it is timely to review openly rather than simply react to the pressure that can be applied by larger sports with greater lobbying capacity. Sports that have been part of the AIS programs ( in many cases for over 20 years ) have received favoured treatment which in some cases is clearly not substantiated by results. Other sports, and badminton is but one of these, are not given the same opportunity and support to show how much future potential they possess which is somewhat of an indictment of the present national sports program approach. “ Potential “, the initial prime criteria for the admission of most sports to the early AIS programs, needs to be revisited.

In terms of Olympic Sports there are 19 who received greater support over the past 4 years than badminton---- in some cases fair “ perhaps” but not to the extent of 10-- 15 times as much funding as occurred with 7 sports ; and 4---7 times as much funding as occurred with 8 other sports. All of this should be part of a comprehensive review with all sports receiving equal opportunity to be heard otherwise perpetuation of the past will continue unchanged, Australia’s population/demographic shift will continue to be ignored, role models to appeal to this new demographic will not be nurtured and Rio will simply see more of the same---let’s hope not !!

Badminton looks forward to contributing to the review of directions which is now timely.

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