Sunday, July 21, 2024

Tokyo or bust: Hockeyroos could see severe funding cuts

The Hockeyroos could face a massive shortfall in Olympic funding over the next four years if the team fails to perform at Tokyo 2020.

Fives months out from the Games, Olympic funding wrangles have been hot topic in sporting circles Down Under this week after The Australian‘s series of reports on the subject.

A host of sports’ future funding is in the firing line six months after Tokyo finishes. And the Hockeyroos have received top billing, with the programme set to be slashed by up to 60 per cent.

This effectively means that the Australian Institute of Sport deems the Hockeyroos having no chance of medalling at Paris 2024.

Australia’s coaching great Ric Charlesworth told the newspaper that he was “gobsmacked” by the decision.

Meanwhile Hockey Australia chief Matt Favier said: “We are really concerned about not only the risk of reduced funding that may play out for hockey, but for the entire sporting community.”

Favier told The Australian that it would be a “kick in the guts” if the cuts came to fruition.

Australia’s Olympic medal tally counts have dipped since 2004. Four years ago, Australia finished 10th with eight golds and 29 medals, which was its lowest Olympic tally in 28 years.

The Hockeyroos last won an Olympic medal 20 years ago thanks to Sydney gold.

Despite both national sides exiting at the last eight stage in Rio, the Kookaburras have reportedly been handed a funding increase on the road to Paris.

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