WE'LL KEEP ON CAMPAIGNING FOR THE AIS
Federation Chamber, 17 September 2018
Founded in 1981, the Australian Institute of Sport has been a vital part of our nation's sporting prowess, responsible for training some of our sporting legends, among them Michael Klim, Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Petria Thomas, Anna Meares and Michael Milton.
And yet the Australian Institute of Sport is now under threat due to staffing cuts and neglect. Since the coalition came into office, the number of Canberra based staff has fallen from 173 to 140. The institute has lost 70 sports specialists, and executives have indicated that there are more losses to come.
Several sports bodies avoid the institute altogether, and many refer to it as a ‘ghost town’.
Despite the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government's development of a National Sport Plan, the Australian Institute of Sport seems to have been relegated to an insignificant part of the discussion.
On this day, on which we've seen the marathon world record broken by Eliud Kipchoge, it's appropriate to quote Rob de Castella, Australia's greatest marathon runner:
The AIS was the biggest innovation and revolution in Australian sport, the greatest opportunity & service to the most talented & dedicated athlete, coaches, scientists & medicos. It is over #RIPAIS
I don't believe it's over for the AIS but I do encourage Canberrans and anyone across Australia who cares about sport to sign my petition, at www.AndrewLeigh.com/AISpetition. It's attracted over 150 signatures so far, and we'll keep on campaigning to make the Australian Institute of Sport a vital part of our sporting fabric.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.