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Breakthrough2022 athlete funding program aiming to deliver in Birmingham

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Commonwealth Games Australia’s $2 million-dollar direct athlete support scheme has been renamed ‘Breakthrough2022’ as the countdown to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gathers pace.

Breakthrough2022 funding is designed to directly assist athletes with financial support for their preparations for the Birmingham Games.

Athletes can receive up to $8,000 to support their training and competition activities to assist their performance outcome in Birmingham such as fund international or domestic travel for training or competition, medical support or other training-related expenses.

The Breakthrough2022 program gives emerging and medal potential Commonwealth Games athletes the opportunity to receive direct financial assistance which may have been otherwise unavailable, or to provide more than what would otherwise be available to them.

To ensure easy distribution of funds to athletes, Commonwealth Games Australia is partnering with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

The program will be administered by the AIS and will be in addition to the $14 million in direct athlete grants the AIS already provides each year through its dAIS scheme.

Three funding rounds of Breakthrough2022 will be available between now and the Birmingham Games, with National Sporting Organisations nominating athletes for funding based on medal potential in Birmingham.

The Breakthrough2022 program is part of the $13 million funding package announced by Commonwealth Games Australia in April 2019 to assist with preparations for Birmingham.

The funding is a direct legacy for Commonwealth Games sports and athletes of hosting the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which recently celebrated the three-year anniversary since the Games.

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The first phase of the program delivered $4.155 million in project funding for Birmingham 2022 sports for projects in 2019 and 2020 targeting pre-elite athletes who had their sights set on the 2022 Games. A further $240,000 was delivered to women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis when those sports were added to the Games program in August 2019.

In addition, $25,000 was delivered for the 2019 and 2020 Kurt Fearnley Scholarships in conjunction with the Carbine Club of NSW in a program managed by the NSW Institute of Sport.

CGA CEO Craig Phillips thanked the AIS for their ongoing support of the Australian Commonwealth Games team and said funding athletes directly was an important component of the strategy to deliver overall team success in Birmingham.

“Our goals are for Australia to maintain its status as the No.1 nation in the Commonwealth, both in gold and overall medals won. In addition, the 2022 Team has its eye on increasing the number of sports that achieve a podium performance,” Phillips said.

“Lofty goals given the Games will take place on the home soil of arch-rivals England, but we are up for the battle and the Breakthrough2022 program will help us achieve these goals.”

Australia topped the medal tally on the Gold Coast with 198 medals, including 80 gold, well ahead of England with 135 medals/45 gold.  In Glasgow four years earlier, it was a different tale, with England topping the tally with 174/58 to Australia’s 137/49.

AIS CEO Peter Conde said: “The AIS and our Games partners like Commonwealth Games Australia ultimately share the same goal, which is to support Australian athletes to be their very best so they can inspire the nation.”

“I congratulate CGA for this funding boost and I’m proud the AIS and CGA can work together it to deliver it directly to athletes. It makes sense and it will make a real difference to many Australian athletes.”

Between 1996 and 2018, CGA has provided in excess of $43 million to its members and athletes. The funding comes entirely from income from investments held in the Australian Commonwealth Games Foundation, sponsorship rights sales and fundraising activities and has been boosted by legacies of hosting home Games in Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

Commonwealth Games Australia is planning to send one of its largest teams to compete in an away campaign with an expected team size of in excess of 400 athletes across 19 sports.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August.

Further information on the Breakthrough2022 program along with funding guidelines can be found here: https://www.sportaus.gov.au/grants_and_funding/cga-breakthrough2022

Sports will complete athlete nominations in April, with funding commencing in early May.

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