According to a poll conducted by the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), a foundation that provides funds for sports, 46% of elite competitors live on less than A$23,000 ($14,860) each year.
Many of the 2,304 athletes polled said the issue was becoming worse as the expense of housing and transport increased, and two-thirds of females said the stress of trying to make ends meet had harmed their mental health.
Worryingly for Australian Olympic prospects, the study indicated that 43% of athletes intending to compete in the 2032 Summer Games had contemplated quitting their sports.
“We cannot afford to see these inspiring young athletes walk away from their dreams,” AOC CEO Matt Carroll said in a statement.
“Financial pressure impacts on athletes’ mental health, and the risks of athletes exiting their sports as a consequence is of huge concern.”
Carroll stated in March that the AOC had identified an A$2 billion shortage in sports financing over the next ten years, urging the government to make it up or risk failure at the Brisbane Games.
The government announced last month the creation of an A$20 million fund to assist Australian athletes in preparing for next year’s Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.
Following the success of the Australian football team in reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup, which the country co-hosted, the government has announced an A$200 million increase in financing for women’s sports.
The federal and state governments of Queensland have also offered A$7 billion for the construction of Olympic venues in 2032.