With a similar model already in place in the UK, sporting officials in Australia aim to follow suit and raise money through the launch of this new initiative. The UK, traditionally Australia’s biggest sporting rival, has already witnessed significant sporting growth thanks to funding provided by the National Lottery, so much so that the nation’s athletes propelled their country to a second-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with an astonishing 67 medals.
Unprecedented success in Rio followed a triumphant medal haul in London four years early and a valiant effort in Beijing in 2008, Games in which Team GB truly felt the benefit of funding raised by Lotto and EuroMillions players. It is clear to see that the injection of lottery money into UK sport has taken effect, particularly when you consider that prior to the scheme, the Great British team finished 36th on the medal table at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, picking up just 15 medals.
It is this success that Australian sporting officials are aiming to emulate. While Team GB’s athletes have scaled new heights in terms of their sporting achievements, the sportsmen and women of Australia have recently found themselves in freefall following impressive performances in Sydney and Athens in the early 00s. A poor showing in Rio saw a once great superpower of world sport slump to its worst medal total since 1992 as the country picked up 29 meals, including just eight golds.
The launch of a new sporting lottery has already received backing from a number of high profile individuals including Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates. Quoted by Reuters.com, Coates announced: "We are 100 percent supportive of the lottery proposal. Olympic sport is in desperate need of funding. We are being out-funded by other countries, particularly Britain and Germany. I would give the lottery wholehearted support and I hope it gets up."
John Wylie, chairman of the Australian Sports Commision, hopes to be another influential voice in the potential foundation of the new game, claiming that the nation faced a “moment of truth” in its efforts to remain in touch with rival sporting nations. "We are on a burning deck in terms of our international performance," declared Wylie, whose commission has seen a rapid decline in the funds made available for national sport. "There is no better evidence of that than what has been happening at the Olympic Games. If we are going to remain competitive internationally, if we are going to have a healthy and active society, we need to invest significantly more in the system."