Australia Rugby Union (ARU) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and AIS of the Commonwealth Government’s $122 million investment in national sporting organisations for 2017/18.
The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team, Gold Medallists at the Rio Olympic Games in August last year, have been bolstered by a $500k (65% increase) in funding for their program ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Total ASC support for the Women’s Sevens program will be $1.265m for the coming year.
ARU CEO, Bill Pulver welcomed the increase in funding for Women’s Sevens and said it recognised the achievements of the Australian team and the ever-growing status of Sevens following a historic Rio Olympic Games campaign.
“Our Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team have blazed the trail for many generations of young Australian women to chase their Olympic dream, and we could not be prouder of their achievements over the past twelve months in particular.
“Sevens Rugby was a hit at the 2016 Rio Olympics and extremely competitive, with six countries sharing in the medals. Our gold medal was in no small part to the support received from the ASC, as we were able to establish a centralised Sevens program which was a game-changer for the program.
“However, we know that to remain competitive on the field and continue to deliver to the Winning Edge targets, we need to continue to work in partnership with the ASC to invest in both our men’s and women’s program on the road to Tokyo 2020.
“The additional funding for our Women’s Sevens program will assist the team with their Commonwealth Games and World Series campaigns in 2018 and is a great recognition of their achievements to date, including winning Australia’s first team Olympic Gold Medal since 2004.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the ASC and AIS to ensure that our women’s and men’s teams are given every opportunity to build on the foundations laid by their 2016 success. We are very thankful for their continued support.”