The Australian Government and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have locked in more than $17 million for Bowls, Netball and Squash, giving these Commonwealth Games sports a strong platform for success as Victoria 2026 fast approaches.
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips AM said that confirmation of funding ensures these select sports can focus on their preparations for a home Games in just over three years.
He also endorsed the need for audacious investment across all Victoria 2026 program sports to ensure the green and gold remain atop the medal tally after their success at Birmingham 2022.
“Victoria 2026 is a critical milestone in Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy and we welcome this generous funding commitment for Netball, Squash and Bowls by the Australian Government and Australian Sports Commission,” Phillips said.
“For all sports, certainty in funding is what provides for appropriate planning and delivery ahead of competition on the world stage. Our hope is that this bold, early investment continues for all Victoria 2026 program sports.”
“To top the medal tally in Birmingham, it took the combined efforts of 19 sports. All our member sports will need appropriate levels of investment.”
Bowls is the big winner, receiving a 59 per cent increase in funding to $5.6 million. This ensures it can support both para- and able-bodied high-performance programs.
Netball and the Australian Diamond, who have competed in every Commonwealth Games gold medal match, will receive $9.4m in funding while Squash will receive $2.36m.
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said the AIS was committed to working on behalf of sport to deliver longer-term funding.
“We thank the Australian Government for their belief and confidence in us and the Australian high performance sport system to deliver meaningful results for our country,” Perkins said.
“There’s no doubt funding like this is crucial to helping Australian sport produce more medal-winning moments, but these sporting victories are also big winners for our nation more broadly, benefitting areas such as our economy and our physical and mental health.”
“Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy outlines our collective plan to build sustainable success in Australian sport. Victoria 2026 is a huge milestone on our journey over this Green and Gold Decade to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, and beyond.”
Federal Minister for Sport Anika Wells said this funding would help boost sporting equality during the Green and Gold Decade and create lasting benefits for athletes and fans.
“The Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games will take high performance sport directly to regional Australia. When you consider aspects of these Games, such as the full integration of para-sport, it’s a wonderful event to inspire and connect all Australians with sport. The Australian Government is proud to support our Aussie athletes and sports to represent our national and perform at their best,” Minister Wells said.
“It was incredible to watch our Australian athletes compete so brilliantly and top the medal tally at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, but it’s even more exciting to think Australians will get to experience all that excitement firsthand and on home soil at Victoria 2026.”
Australia was represented by 429 athletes at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with the team topping the medal tally with 67 gold, 57 silver and 54 bronze medals.
The Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games will be held from 17 to 29 March 2026 across five regional hubs – Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, and Shepparton – and will feature 22 sports.
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