BELCONNEN, Australia, November 22. SWIMMING Australia and Georgina Hope Foundation are pleased to announce they will jointly fund a minimum of $10 million over the next four years to provide personal financial assistance for Australia's leading swimmers.
The Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers Support Scheme has been established following discussions between Georgina Hope Foundation Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart, and Swimming Australia.
Starting on January 1 2013, the Foundation will support elite and targeted development swimmers, including swimmers with a disability and open water competitors, as they prepare and compete at major national and international championships over the next four years.
Mrs Rinehart said "the Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers Support Scheme will help support high performance pathways for Australian swimmers and is pleased to have been associated with supporting swimming in Australia since 1992".
"The Foundation will focus on providing subsistence funding, squad funding, scholarship funding and performance funding," said Mrs Rinehart.
"Historically, Australian swimmers have performed exceptionally at Olympic, Paralympic, World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, and the Foundation will ensure they have every opportunity to train and compete at the highest possible level," added Mrs Rinehart.
Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold thanked Mrs Rinehart for her personal commitment to the Foundation and the support that it will bring to the athletes.
"The Board of Swimming Australia, the Australian Swimmers Association, its member swimmers, the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association and the wider swimming community, are extremely grateful to have a businesswoman of Mrs Rinehart's global stature involved in our sport," said Mr Nettlefold.
"The establishment of the Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers Support Scheme provides a tremendous incentive and financial support for our swimmers to strive and seek excellence, at a time where the swimming world has lifted the performance bar."
Mr Nettlefold said the final structure of the Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers Support Scheme support will be determined in coming months.
"It will be a performance-based tiered structure, and will include support for young up-and-coming swimmers as well. We also intend to increase the number of swimmers who can be supported through the Foundation," he said.
Australian Swimming Association General Manager, Daniel Kowalski, said the establishment of the Foundation is an historic day for the sport and the athletes in particular.
"On behalf of all our members, we thank and congratulate Mrs Rinehart for her vision and support. The Foundation will have an enormous positive impact on current, aspiring and future elite swimmers," said Kowalski.
Mr Nettlefold said the establishment of the Foundation will also assist leading Australian coaches and state bodies with additional funds flowing into these key areas of the sport.
"As a result of the Foundation, revenue from Swimming Australia's commercial areas will now be freed up and be able to be directed into further assisting our leading coaches and member state associations," he explained.
Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association President, Ron McKeon, welcomed the new Support Scheme.
"Any initiative that aids elite swimmers in training and preparing to the best of their ability is a real positive for the sport, and I'm sure this Foundation will have some great flow on benefits," said McKeon.
"As coaches, athletes, state associations, clubs and administrative bodies, an increase in funding and assistance can only help in developing high performing athletes to achieve success on the world stage," he said.
Details on the funding distribution model, performance tiers and breakdown will be announced prior to the end of the year.
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