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The power of one athlete voice to create change

Pay parity for Paralympic athletes for medal bonuses.

Earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced the federal government is set to provide funding to Paralympics Australia to ensure Paralympic athletes are given the same cash bonuses as Australian Olympic medallists.

This push for pay parity was brought about by a campaign started by Olympic gold medalist, Australian Rugby Union and AFLW player, Chloe Dalton. She had set up a GoFundMe page to help award Paralympic medallists with a similar cash bonus that the Olympic medallists were receiving. The page generated community support and raised $75,000 in only 3 days.

Chloe Dalton is also the creator of the Female Athlete Project - a platform and podcast which shares the stories and achievements of incredible [female] athletes. A champion for equality in sport, the inequality of Paralympics not receiving a cash bonus on par with Olympic athletes, stirred her to take action.

The movement continued on social media with other Paralympians joining in to share their support, mounting pressure on the government to take action.

Olympians are awarded medal bonuses by the Australian Olympic Committee and received $20,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze at this year’s Tokyo 2020 Games. In comparison, Paralympians were set to receive $0 for their medals.

Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson said,

“We’re ecstatic. We have another layer of difficulty and expense, as the equipment is often expensive and often is only overseas, or needs customisation. If you’re a vision impaired athlete the costs are double because you have a guide. These additional dollars will be really helpful.”

At Athletes For Hope Australia, we empower athletes to use their sporting profile to raise awareness for community issues, charitable causes and ultimately make a positive impact. The example of what Chloe Dalton has achieved this week, illustrates the power of their voice to raise awareness and create positive change.

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