Rugby Australia has today welcomed a funding commitment from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to further support the Qantas Australian Sevens teams following an increase in funding from the Federal Government.
The AIS confirmed a one-off funding grant of $2.2 million (AUD) for the Australian Sevens program, and further investment for enhanced Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement support for players. The additional grant brings the total 2020/21 investment by the Federal Government and the AIS to $4.5 million.
The Australian Sevens program has been recognised for being a medal contender at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games with Australia’s golden girls, the Australian Women’s Sevens team, aiming to defend their gold medal from Rio de Janeiro four years ago, while the Australian Men’s Sevens team finished the Sevens World Series in fourth position this season.
Rugby Australia interim CEO, Rob Clarke said: “On behalf of Rugby Australia and both of our Sevens teams, we thank the Australian Institute of Sport for their increased support for our programs.
“This increase is a tick of approval for our teams and the progress they had made before the World Series was suspended with our Australian Women’s Sevens pressing for another title and our Men’s team were finishing the season with a wet sail as they sat in fourth position with four rounds to go.
“This extra funding will allow for more security and greater planning ahead the Tokyo Olympic Games and as we move forward in a new Sevens landscape,” Clarke said.
Chair of the Australian Sports Commission, John Wylie said: “While all our sport partners continue to weather the challenges of COVID-19, we are really pleased at the AIS to be able to provide these additional measures to support Rugby Australia’s Sevens programs as they head towards Tokyo.
“Thousands of Australians and in particular, girls, were inspired by the feats of our gold medallists in Rio, and we’d love to see the women’s team defend that gold, and get the men onto the podium as well,” Wylie said.
World Rugby was forced to conclude the 2019-2020 HSBC Sevens World Series due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19.