UK Sport delivers additional £7m sports funding

From UK Sport
UK Sport has today taken a major step to secure a more certain environment for Olympic and Paralympic sports in the current economic climate, with the combination of vital new investment from the Team 2012 initiative and adjustments to funding awards allowing for the mission to London to be kept firmly on track.

The high performance sports’ body announced revised investment figures for all funded sports following a thorough Annual Review process. Initially, £6.5 million of new funds have been made available to UK Sport from the successful Team 2012 sponsorship scheme, which announced Visa as its Presenting Partner in September. In addition, UK Sport has reacted to changed economic conditions by adjusting the inflation level in all previously-made awards to 1.5%, making a further £6.5 million available.

This has enabled UK Sport to support women’s boxing following the recent IOC announcement of its inclusion in the Olympics, allow for the recent inclusion of Intellectual Disability competition into the Paralympics and also offer increased funding to sports which had previously only received ‘basic’ level support.

The result is that, at a time when many competitor nations are struggling to secure resources, Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports are now well placed to maximise their potential for success at 2012. It comes after a successful year where the vast majority of sports have shown real progress on the journey to the Games, with 43 medals won at World and European level in Olympic disciplines and 149 in Paralympic.

John Steele, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “These decisions are vital to our overall mission through to London, and represent what we believe to be the best use of the resources available from a performance perspective. While future funding can never be guaranteed, especially in such a difficult economic climate, they help to draw a ‘line in the sand’ around issues of funding and give sports a clear line of sight through to 2012.

“Over the past year it has become clear to UK Sport that key decisions relating to 2012, such as selection criteria and competition schedules, could not wait until the proposed confirmation at the ‘mid cycle review’ in Autumn 2010. So decisions have been brought forward now that maximise stability without impacting on our medal targets, and we can move into 2010 without the burden of a major mid-cycle review.

“As always there can be arguments about how the cake is cut, but I am very confident we have done the best by British sport at this time. Future income will be allocated using our investment criteria, including that raised by Team 2012 and we remain hugely grateful to Visa for their support of the scheme.”

The Review builds on the record £304 million of National Lottery and Exchequer money invested in December 2008. The key decisions, taken using UK Sport’s no compromise approach and based on a detailed analysis of every sport’s relative performance over the past year, are:

• All ‘fully funded’ sports on the programme having the inflationary increase built into their funding award adjusted to 1.5%. This applies equally to UK Sport’s own budget and to service organisations such as the English Institute of Sport.

• Boxing to receive a net increase of £950,000 based on the inclusion of women’s disciplines in 2012 and the consequent increase in medal prospects given the talent already identified in the new classes.

• An increase of two podium athlete places to Olympic Athletics following a marked improvement in current performance and potential for 2012.

• A reduction of three athlete places in Badminton (one podium and two development), leading to a new funding level of £7.97 million for the Olympiad, reflecting the performance profile of current senior players

• 11 of the 12 ‘basic’ funded sports receiving a doubling of their existing funding, based on clear evidence that they are performing well on this level of investment and deserve the opportunity to continue with more certainty. Table Tennis has had its award deferred until next year whilst UK Sport works together with the sport to implement the performance changes needed to ensure success in 2012 and beyond. Its funding currently remains at the £1.2 million awarded in January 2009.

• A further 13 sports that previously had only planning figures from 2011 onwards now having their investment confirmed, subject to normal performance criteria

• A proposed contingency fund of over £1 million to be available to support further medal priorities in 2010, including the Paralympic disciplines that will be included for athletes with intellectual disability once confirmed next year

• Wheelchair Tennis to support its own programme funding of medal potential with UK Sport investing £225,000 into Athlete Personal Awards

Steele continued: “The changes are made on the back of hard evidence and a detailed analysis that takes factors well beyond competition success into consideration. By doing this we know that relative to each other, every sport now has the investment they need to meet our performance aspirations for London 2012, which remain unchanged.”

UK Sport’s announcements have been received positively by the national governing bodies of sport:

Rod Carr, Chief Executive of the RYA and a UK Sport Board Member said: “Steadying the ship as much as possible at this time is crucial and the route UK Sport has taken is the right one. We are in challenging times but the mission as a whole to London 2012 is on track and all Olympic and Paralympic sports should see today as another important step towards achieving our joint goals.”

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of British Swimming, said: “British Swimming welcomes the confirmation of planning figures for our aquatic sports. It now enables us to focus solely on performance in 2012 and provides the stability we need to achieve our collective goals. This is a very sensible outcome and reflects the fact that inflation is running significantly lower in the current financial climate. It’s welcome investment for water polo and recognises the tremendous improvements both teams have made this year. Overall we think this is great news to support the hard work taking place within the aquatic disciplines.”

Richard Callicott, President of British Volleyball, said: “This is fantastic news for British Volleyball. For the past year we have been working extremely hard to focus our efforts to ensure we had the ability to see all our athletes compete on home soil ” but we took a big risk doing so. UK Sport have shown today that it has recognised the tremendous progress we have made and that our gamble was worth it and we do now have much more certainty and ability to plan than yesterday. On behalf of our Coaches and players and everyone involved in all our programmes. I am delighted, and very grateful too to Visa and everyone that has made Team 2012 a reality.”

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of UK Athletics, said: “We are pleased that UK Sport has recognised the impressive performances from our athletes during 2009 where we have had one of the best years, in all age groups, for over 20 years. This is a big vote of confidence in the changes we have made to our performance culture and the likely positive impact they will continue to bring between now and 2012.”

Paul Goodwin, Chief Executive of British Handball, said: “I am delighted that UK Sport has recognised the progress that Handball has continued to make. I am certain that their decision to increase our funding will be fully justified. This funding provides us the certainty which has been lacking until now that we can fund the preparation of our senior teams for the London 2012 Olympics. But we also have to build a sustainable structure for Handball in Britain for the longer term and I hope that the confidence shown by UK Sport today will now encourage the public and commercial partners to really get behind Team 2012 and British Handball and support our athletes.”

UK Sport also published the results of its latest Mission 2012 review of sports’ performance, which contributed to the decisions made on investment. This showed how British sport had a very successful year of competition, with 43 medals being won in Olympic disciplines at World or European Championships (against a target range of 24-49) and an incredible 149 medals being won by our Paralympians (against a range of 98-119). This shows that sports have continued the momentum from Beijing: in Olympic sport the medals were won by 12 different sports and were 30 up on the same period in 2005 after Athens.

Notes to Editors

• UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency. Its mission is to work in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success. Primarily this means working with our partner sporting organisations to deliver medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But it also gives us responsibility for activities best delivered at a UK level, such as: bidding for and staging major sporting events in this country; increasing our sporting activity and influence overseas; and promoting sporting conduct, ethics and diversity in society. UK Sport is funded by a mix of Government Exchequer and Lottery income, as well as private investment through Team 2012.

• Team 2012 is a partnership between UK Sport, the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). It aims to raise up to £25 million by London 2012 through a mix of commercial sponsorship, corporate and individual donations, a programme aimed at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and ultimately a public appeal.

• UK Sport is targeting a top four finish in the Olympic medal table at London 2012 and a second place finish in the Paralympic table

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