The long-awaited Crawford Review of Australian sport has in effect called the bluff of successive Australian governments and proposed a re-weighting of sports funding away from elite Olympic sports toward grassroots participation.

Since 1976, when a mortified Fraser Government dramatically increased sports funding in the wake of the Montreal Olympics, Federal Governments have invested heavily in elite sports with the aim of maximising the number of Olympic medals. In 2007-08, most of the $90m handed out by the Australian Sports Commission went to Olympic sports as part of this national inferiority complex. Increasingly, however, governments have dressed up sports funding with social policy goals, claiming it helped address obesity, or encourage participation by marginalised groups like indigenous communities.