UK Sport to widen scope of Olympic and Paralympic athlete funding model to include more sports beyond 2020
- UK Sport will broaden its Olympic and Paralympic funding beyond 2020
- It’s a softening of ‘no compromise’ model of funding only likely medal winners
- Its model will now have three tiers: podium, podium potential and progression
UK Sport will broaden its Olympic and Paralympic funding beyond 2020 to support more sports, in a significant softening of its ‘no compromise’ model of only funding likely medal winners.
The elite sports agency announced that in the build-up to Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 it will split its funding model into three separately-assessed tiers – podium, podium potential and a new category called ‘progression’.
The intention is that the new strategy, which comes after a year-long consultation with athletes, governing bodies and the public, will produce more medals from more medallists in more sports.
UK Sport will broaden its Olympic and Paralympic funding beyond 2020 to support more sports, Dame Katherine Grainger has said
It is thought that it will spell good news for sports like badminton, basketball and fencing, which have lost out on national lottery and government funding in recent years.
UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger said that the shift in funding approach would create ‘a bigger and more encompassing system’.
She added: ‘We are confident the new strategy will help sustain medal success while enabling more communities to be inspired by the power of high performance sport.’
Sports Minister Mims Davies highlighted the change in direction, away from a so-called ‘medals-at-all-costs’ approach, when telling stakeholders: ‘As we look to fund a wider range of sports, over a longer period of time it is important that these sports inspire and represent our diverse society. Let’s not be afraid to invest in the potential reach and success of currently unfunded sports too.’
There are no details at this stage about how much funding UK Sport will receive from the Government, with a spending review expected to take place shortly.
But outgoing chief executive Liz Nicholls said UK Sport would ‘go for the maximum’ in making its case and said she was ‘confident’ that the Government would recognise the importance of continuing to support the elite sport system.
Around 5,000 people responded to the consultation, with 61 per cent of respondents agreeing that the current medal winning strategy is the right approach to investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK.