The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced a partnership with Hancock Prospecting, as the mining company sponsors the country’s olympic team.

Until 2026, the collaboration also sees Hancock Prospecting support Australian Teams to Youth Olympic Games and Pacific Games, whilst becoming the presenting partner of Australian Olympic Change-Maker – a programme which promotes leadership in young Australians and athlete ambassadors.

AOC President, John Coates, commented: “This is a major commitment to Australian sport. We welcome and thank Mrs Gina Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting for this investment. On the eve of farewelling our Team to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the timing is perfect.

“There is no coincidence that the strong support of Mrs Gina Rinehart for many of our athletes in Tokyo yielded excellent results. There were so many golden moments and success in the pool, our rowers had a wonderful Games, as did our beach volleyballers.”

As the partnership intends to ‘encompass’ multiple Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the sponsorship includes the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, and the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics in February 2026.

“While delighted that this partnership will assist with our Teams at future Games, I am also extremely grateful for the ongoing support for so many athletes at the grassroots,” Coates added. 

“While that support is separate to this arrangement, it is a remarkable illustration of Mrs Gina Rinehart’s commitment to Australian sport at all levels. Along with our artistic swimmers, our swimmers, rowers and beach volleyballers will continue to benefit from this investment. She’s a great Australian who shares our Olympic values and philosophies.”

Furthermore, the enterprise’s Executive Chairman, Gina Rinehart, noted that Hancock Prospecting has been a long-term supporter of the summer Olympic sports of artistic swimming, rowing and volleyball, and specifically over 30 years for swimming. 

She added: “We are so proud to help our great Olympians who are such inspirations, through their hard work, most do not really know how hard they work, dedication, focus and self-discipline, as they endeavour to represent our country to the best of their ability. The traits these role models show in my view, are important for us all, if we wish to succeed in life and business.

“We are delighted to take the next step in our long-term support of Australia’s best athletes and become an official Australian Olympic Committee partner, an organisation admirably independent of Government funding and aligned to our values at the Hancock Group.

“At Hancock we believe it is important that if there is government funding to other sporting bodies, that it be strictly applied to support the Olympians and future Olympians, their coaches and training requirements and participation in sport.”

The company has also announced that it has confirmed its direct athlete support funding to athletes from rowing, swimming, artistic swimming and volleyball until Paris 2024, with a ‘strong intent’ to carry this through to Brisbane 2032.

“As Australia looks to host an Olympic Games in ten years, it will be important for our country to be open to investment and reduce the regulatory burden that impacts development needed to help make Queensland shine and the Games a success,” Rinehart concluded.

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