UK Sport welcomes Budget Announcement

Published 22 March 2006

UK Sport, the Government agency responsible for the funding and support of Olympic and Paralympic sport, is delighted with the additional 2012 performance funding announced in today’s Budget.

The decision enables UK Sport to build on the current success of the home nations’ athletes in Melbourne and start to work towards our 'ultimate goal’ for London 2012 of achieving 4th in the Olympic Medal table and 1st in the Paralympic, while also funding those sports not currently represented at the Games to maximise their chances of competing credibly on home soil.

The Chancellor announced an additional £200 million of public money for high performance sport through to 2012, to be added to the £60 million a year already invested in Olympic and Paralympic success. He also indicated that another £100 million will be sought through private investment.

Whilst underpinning performance through to 2012, this will provide UK Sport with the full level of funding required to aim for our ultimate goal over the next few crucial years, as we begin to scale up activity and ensure a world class system is in place to support potential medal winners.

UK Sport will therefore pursue 'Option 2’ of its Funding Submission to Government and fund all Olympic and Paralympic sports, with the exception of football and tennis. We will make initial awards through to Beijing 2008, then review our performance with Government and our partners. We will also seek to determine what resources might be needed to secure our ultimate goal in London.

Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, says: "This announcement is excellent news for Olympic and Paralympic sport and is a major step forward. It puts us well on the road to achieving our ultimate goals for 2012 and to leave a lasting legacy for performance sport in this country.

"The Chancellor has studied and accepted our investment strategy, recognising the level of funding needed to support our best athletes whilst also helping those sports not currently competing to make it to the start line in 2012. Our submission had to be robust and credible to be taken seriously, and the investment model we presented was very carefully constructed in consultation with our key partners in sport. As a result, we are very clear about what we can aim for in 2012, and the Government knows that its investment will be directed to maximum effect.

"We now know that we can invest the full amount needed over the next few years to lay the foundations for 2012 as we build up to Beijing 2008. Following those Games, as with any credible business planning process, we will assess our progress and seek to determine with Government and our partners what funding is then needed, how it should be deployed and the manner in which it should be raised. Winning an Olympic or Paralympic medal is incredibly difficult. Our objective is to put as many of our most talented sportsmen and women in with the best possible chance of doing so in just over six years’ time. That means we have to make many smart investment decisions, not just in terms of who we support, but how."

"We recognise the obligation we have to deliver against a transparent, responsible and performance driven process that can stand up to public scrutiny. Through our 'no compromise’ strategic approach, we will invest in and support athletes that have the clear and identified potential to succeed and Governing Bodies that are able to demonstrate they are fit for purpose in delivering Olympic or Paralympic success."

As part of this transparent approach, UK Sport has published today a '100 Day Plan’ for delivery of this additional funding. It states all funding awards for the period up to the Beijing Olympics (2008-9) will be confirmed on a sport by sport basis within 14 working days.

UK Sport will also release the first quarter of funding to all sports to ensure further 2012 planning, with further payments then committed against set and agreed Action Plans. By 6th July – the anniversary of the Games being won for London and just over 100 days away – all sports will be in position to be in receipt of their full award or with an agreed timetable to ensure this is put in place.

UK Sport’s investment strategy contains a two tier process – concentrating on both winning medals and achieving credible representation in all sports. As a result of the transfer of responsibility the additional funding will support a new World Class Pathway, split into three key stages:

  • World Class Podium Programme: supporting athletes with realistic medal capabilities at the next Olympic/Paralympic Games (ie. a maximum of four years away from the Podium)
  • World Class Development Programme: supporting the stage of the pathway immediately beneath the Podium, comprising athletes that show evidence of realistic medal winning capabilities in 2012. [Additionally and uniquely for 2012 this level will also embrace those sports with realistic capabilities to be competitive in 2012 but where medal achievement is unlikely.]
  • World Class Talent Programme: supporting the identification and confirmation of athletes who have the potential to progress through the World Class Pathway with the help of targeted investment.

 

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