The value placed on sport within Australia is due to the effect it has on social cohesion and community building within society (Atherley, 2006). Both elite and community level sport have a large impact on this social cohesion, and while the two are strongly related, this link needs to be reflected in the policy and strategic level of sport (Independent Sport Panel, 2009). It is apparent that there is an obvious tension between setting policy and funding for elite sport versus the grass roots level, with governments over the last 30 years prioritising elite sport and the outcomes as a nation (Green, 2007). But with Australian society falling into an alarming trend of rising obesity and inactivity levels nationwide, there is a strong need for…show more content… By exploring the ways in which the Australian Government plays a role in setting policy and providing funding for levels of sport, as well as exploring the Australian Governments responses to the Independent Sport Panels’ 2009 inquiry into elite versus grassroots sport, the tension between these two levels becomes much clearer. While improvements have been made on the imbalances between the amounts of funding for elite and grassroots sport, there is still a need for a significant improvement in order to utilise sport as a tool for combatting the rising obesity within Australia today.
Although elite and grassroots sport would be unable to function without one another, there is still an incoherent tension between the policy setting and funding that each receive from the Australian Government to this day. Sport is widely accepted to have a large social impact on the community, and the Whitlam government were the first to categorise sport as a federal policy area in hopes it would lead to greater participation and subsequently…show more content… Funding for elite sport from the government comes through the statutory authority, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), whose board of commissioners makes decisions regarding allocation of resources and funding (Australian Sports Commission, 2015). The large investment the government makes into elite sport is evident in the 2012-2013 period, where the federal government, through the ASC, provided a total of $201,810,000 to continuing international sporting success, high performance athlete development and targeted science and research into athlete training (Australian Sports Commission, 2013). When comparing this funding of elite sport with the funding of community level sport of the same year, the imbalance is overwhelming. The funding provided to improve participation in organised sport at the community level and support community sustainability of their sport was just under $100 million less with the total funding for the 2012-2013