Money Needed to Make The Sporting World Go Round

In last week’s issue of BRW they published a list of the top fifty highest paid sports stars from Australia.
Greg Norman topped the list with earnings of $15million, closely followed by Basketballer Andrew Bogut with $14million. The top earning female came in at 35 and that was tennis player Sam Stosur with $1.53million and the only other female to crack the top fifty was golfer Karrie Webb at 48 with $1.25million.
There were some interesting things to look at in this list. As mentioned by BRW, “There are only eight Australian-based sportsmen on the list, six of them cricketers.” These players in the main are making their money from the lucrative Indian Premier League. Australia’s cricketers also received a bonus last year with Cricket Australia making $20.3 Million, of which due to the players bargaining agreement the contracted players received 25 percent.
Boxer Danny Green was one of the Australian based sportsmen to make the top fifty as was footballer John Aloisi.
Out of the top 50, 18 of the list made their money from golf, and another seven from motorsport, making up half of the list with 25 athletes from two sports.
If you then look at the remaining 25 athletes, 14 went through the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) or their state equivalent. In fact eight out of the top 20 went through Australian sporting institutes. Which would indicate that those spotting talent have done a great job, as their coaching has seen that talent fulfilled.
However it raises another significant point, as we witness how much these programs cost, and that is should these athletes have to put back into these institutions to ensure the survival of their programs? Should it be like a HECS fee?
In America, with the junior PGA tour all the golfers that they sign up sign a contract that states that once they earn $500,000 they will pay 1% back to the PGA. Understandably most of the youngsters sign the contracts as they dream of the day when they will earn $500,000 a year. This has in fact enabled the junior PGA tour to grow from around 20 tournaments a year to well over 100. So it has helped the next generation.
There is no questioning that some of the athletes in the top fifty are more than generous in their donations and work with various charities, Tim Cahill and Adam Gilchrist being just two who spring to mind. The question is should the Australian Institutes of Sport not do the same?
If this were the case with the eight athletes who attended Institutes of sport who made the top 20 on this year’s list, it would have witnessed $453,700 being ploughed back into these development programs.
Most of the institutes were set up over 25 years ago and at a time when there was not the money in top level there is today in sport, so this would not have been an issue, then. However surely it is something that should be considered now?

Money Needed to Make The Sporting World Go Round
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