UK Sport today announced a £6 million package to support Winter Olympic and Paralympic sport up to and beyond the Vancouver Games in 2010. The money, a 20% increase on the funding allocated over the Turin cycle, will be distributed across seven Olympic and two paralympic disciplines on the basis of UK Sport’s ‘No Compromise’ investment strategy. This targets resources predominately at sports and athletes considered to be genuine medal prospects in four years time.
Bob skeleton, Great Britain’s most successful winter sport in recent years, having won medals in Turin and Salt Lake City, receives the largest award of almost £2 million. This will fund world class pathway support such as coaching, competition, training, equipment, science and medicine and all the associated travel and accommodation. It also provides athletes with a personal award (APA) to contribute to their living and personal sporting costs over the next four years.
The other major recipient is curling. UK Sport’s investment has almost trebled to almost £1.1 million to fund both their programme and athlete personal awards. This is in addition to the support provided by sportscotland and the Scottish Institute of Sport. Figure skating is being funded for the first time in recent years, and will receive £496,000 to support the development of Ice Dance pair John and Sinead Kerr.
Paralympic Winter sport support more than doubles to £350,000. Following the success of its silver medal winning wheelchair curling team in Turin, that sport will receive £270,000 of this investment, whilst the remaining £80,000 will go to Alpine skiing.
Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s Director of Performance said:
"Our approach to Winter Olympic and Paralympic funding is unashamedly based on our ‘No Compromise’ approach.
"The good news is we have been able to increase the overall funding for winter sports by 20% compared with the previous four year cycle, but we have to allocate this to those sports that have shown they can deliver and have the future potential to win medals on the world stage. We have to be realistic, Great Britain will never be a top winter sports nation but we can achieve success if we target our investment effectively at the right athletes."
Minister for Sport Richard Caborn welcomed the announcement: "This increased investment will go a long way to helping our Winter Olympic and Paralympic medal hopefuls. I hope to see more Shelley Rudmans on the podium of the 2010 Games."
The ‘No Compromise’ investment strategy allocates athlete podium places and programme investment based on a combination of results at the Turin 2006 winter games and recent track record of success, along with an assessment of medal potential for Vancouver 2010. In 2006-2007 there will be 14 Winter Olympic athletes, in addition to the curling squads, in receipt of podium programme support worth, on average, £45,000 per athlete.
Part of Bob Skeleton and Short Track Speed Skating’s award includes investment at world class development level (to support talented athletes for the future) and nominated athletes in both, along with Figure Skating, Bobsleigh, Snowboard, Alpine Skiing, Luge and the two Paralympic disciplines, will receive a total of 41 TASS 2012 scholarships worth up to £10,000 each for individual athletes. The TASS 2012 funding is additional to the £6 million investment.
The full funding package for the Vancouver cycle, along with the comparative figures for the previous four year cycle can be found here.
PLEASE NOTE - The figures in the document below are now out of date. Please click here for current winter sport figures.