Two announcements in recent weeks are set to have a significant effect on the way that Olympic sports are supported by the Sports Councils.
The first announcement listed ten Olympic sports with which the UK’s five Sports Councils have agreed to adopt a 'One Stop Plan’ approach.
In the second announcement, Sport England this week revealed a further ten sports to join the ten UK-wide sports which are all set to benefit from a significant four-year funding package.
The ten UK-wide 'One Stop Plan’ sports – athletics, canoeing, cycling, equestrianism, gymnastics, judo, rowing, triathlon, sailing and swimming – can now look forward to a more co-ordinated approach to support from the sports council family.
The UK and home country governing bodies of the sport will still continue to have a relationship with their respective Sports Councils, who will work together to ensure that their collective investments support infrastructure and programmes designed to have a UK-wide impact and deliver success on the world stage.
Beyond the ten named sports, those already on UK Sport’s World Class Performance Programme will continue to receive Lottery support up to Athens at already agreed levels. Future funding will – as ever – be dependent upon performance in Athens and the sport’s ability to demonstrate the potential to deliver medals at major championships between Athens and Beijing.
Levels of funding for all UK-wide and UK Sport priority sports will depend upon the overall funding 'package’ made available to UK Sport for 2005-2009. This is unlikely to be known before next spring as evidence for funding must be reflected in new plans for post-Athens that each sport is focusing on preparing.
Liz Nicholl, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: "The main outcomes of the UK-wide One Stop Planning initiative are better planning to drive growth and success, and better co-ordination both between governing bodies within a sport and of Sports Council investment and support. It is improving the way people work together and, as such, there are benefits for every UK level sport from the approach."
In addition to the ten 'One Stop Plan’ sports, Sport England’s announcement means that a further ten sports – badminton, cricket, football, golf, hockey, netball, rugby union, rugby league, squash and tennis – will benefit from funds to help them deliver sporting success. This funding will be synchronised with the Olympic four-year cycle, beginning in April 2005.
Patrick Carter, Chairman of Sport England, said: "We have allocated £130 million to 20 sports – those sports considered most important by the nation – to act as a driver for increased participation and sporting success.
"All sports we fund will be accountable for delivering opportunities for people to start in sport, to stay in sport and succeed in sport."