UK Sport sets "Top Four" medal ambition for 2012 Olympics

Published 3 December 2008


  • Confirmed funding of £292 million for 2009/2013 provides certainty for medal potential sports in Olympics and Paralympics
  • Medal Table target of ‘Top Four’ for the Olympics and second for the Paralympics confirmed, with ambition to win more medals across more sports
  • Decisions based on successful ‘no compromise’ investment strategy
  • All sports to receive a level of funding as UK Sport “sticks with the Mission”

A total of £292 million of confirmed investment has today been allocated by UK Sport to British Olympic and Paralympic sports ahead of the London Games in 2012.  This funding, building on the £265 million invested for Beijing, has enabled UK Sport to agree a target of a “Top Four” finish in London, aiming to win more medals in more sports than in Beijing and thereby ensure the most successful Olympic performance by a British team for 100 years.  The Paralympic target is to retain second place in the Medal Table behind China, again winning more medals in more sports than in Beijing.

The funding decisions, confirmed yesterday by the UK Sport Board, are made on the basis of UK Sport’s successful ‘no compromise’ investment strategy – which targets resources primarily at those sports and athletes most likely to win medals.  It aims to ensure that every athlete supported is able to get to the start line at an Olympics or Paralympics in the knowledge that they are as best prepared as they can possibly be.

As a result, a total of 19 Olympic and 14 Paralympic sports have been allocated full performance funding for the period of the London Olympiad – from April next year until March 2013.  Sports receiving the funding certainty include our major medal winners in Beijing, but also team sports like Hockey and Basketball. All funding will be reviewed by UK Sport after two years to ensure that the maximum impact is being gained from every investment decision, and that the right medal opportunities are being prioritised.

The decisions follow the announcement yesterday by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport of £50 million confirmed public investment into the World Class Performance Programme.  This money means that UK Sport is still £50 million short of its original funding ambitions for 2012.

As a result, a further eight Olympic and four Paralympic sports have not had their individual funding allocations confirmed today. However, UK Sport is committed to a basic level of funding for each of these through to 2012 from the remaining available budget.  UK Sport has told each sport that it will work with them over the coming weeks to try and identify further available funding, both from private investment and from other potential sources of income across the sporting landscape. 

Funding levels for each of these sports will be revisited in January, with the basic funding allocated strategically against the performance potential of each sport.

Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said:  “The decisions made by our Board were not easy, but they were right.  The additional funding confirmed yesterday by Andy Burnham is very welcome given current economic conditions, and brings a high degree of certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.  With a shortfall in the overall funding available we had to make some tough calls, but we did so in the knowledge that our ‘no compromise’ strategy is not only known and understood by sport but was also the basis of our success in Beijing.

“As an organisation dedicated to high performance, we are very clear about the ultimate outcomes for our investment: success at the highest level and a system wide legacy to ensure continued success beyond 2012.  That is what we are funding.  While it is disappointing that we are not today able to offer the full level of resources to all sports, we can only invest what we have available to us. We will now do everything we can to deliver additional funding into sport and help close the gap, including sitting down with every affected sport and determining how best we can ensure their programmes continue to be supported.

“We remain absolutely committed to all Olympic and Paralympic sports, and will do everything we can to help get them to the start line in four years time.  We are sticking with the Mission – we will not give up on anybody.”

A total of £247 million has been invested in Olympic sport for the London cycle.  The funded sports are: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Taekwondo and Triathlon.

The Olympic sports that are still to have their funding confirmed are: Fencing, Handball, Shooting, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

On the Paralympic side, there are a number of significant increases in funding for sports in order to ensure that there are sufficient resources available to our most successful programmes.  A total of £45 million has been confirmed today to Archery, Athletics, Boccia, Cycling, Equestrian, Judo, Powerlifting, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Wheelchair Basketball (Men), Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Tennis.

The Paralympic sports that are still to have their funding confirmed are: Fencing, Goalball, Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball (women).

Except for Wheelchair Tennis, Football and Tennis disciplines will receive no funding from UK Sport as they are deemed able to self fund.

Funding Partners
  • DCMS
  • TNL partners
Official Partners
  • BAES logo
  • BUPA
  • IHG logo
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland