Off the Wall

I have been waiting all week for the ARLC to put the case on behalf of rugby league when it comes to government - taxpayer - funding.

The Australian Olympic Committee has wholly predictably been complaining that we would be winning more medals at the London Olympics had the federal government given it more of your money.

The AOC is shameless when it comes to wanting to put its hands deeper in your pockets - even though it has around $100 million in reserves arising from agreements with the IOC and governments after the Sydney Games.

The simple truth is that the AOC, and the Olympic sports program takes the lions share of taxpayer funded support for sport generally.

That is why it is a bit rich for the AOC boss, John Coates, and his neanderthal colleague, R Kevan Gosper, to be lumping the blame on the taxpayer for the disappointing performance in some areas, such as swimming.

This trick is one they have used before.

They talk up our medal prospects before the Games - and if we don't reach their target it is the fault of the government and the taxpayer!

Well it is about time they were told by the government, and the alternate government, that if public funds are to be spent on sport, then the Olympic program demands will have to be assessed against the needs of all sports - including rugby league.

At the grass roots level, rugby league along with Australian Rules, soccer and other team sports are doing it tough.

Parents are struggling to meet the costs associated with their sons and daughters playing junior sport.

I hear about it all the time from rugby league contacts who are responsible for the game at the junior/grass roots levels.

So where it is the ARLC when it is needed?

To speak up for our game and tell politicians that if they want to genuinely promote sporting participation they should look at the big picture - and put more into the sports that are making a difference where it really counts.

The AOC needs to be put back in its box!

For too long governments of both political persuasions have been giving in to the demands of the AOC.

It is time rugby league, rules, and other community sports got a fair slice of taxpayer funding.

And it is surely about time the ARLC said so!

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