- Remaining £11.2 million allocated across 12 sports
- Potential for two year frontloading of awards allows sports to “stay in the race”
- Additional £1.8 million secured to underpin sports’ world-class programmes, with progress made on long-term private sector funding stream
Athlete funding for eight Olympic and four Paralympic sports was confirmed today by UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sport agency. At the same time it announced details of additional funding that has been secured to underpin this investment.
The announcements follow on from major decisions made in December, as UK Sport seeks to maximize medal prospects whilst ensuring that all sports have a chance of competing at London 2012. They bring the total invested in the World Class Performance Programme to £304 million, compared with the £265 million of public money for athletes competing in Beijing.
In December a total of £292 million was invested as UK Sport confirmed its overall target as top four in the Olympic medals table and second in the Paralympic in four years time. However, a £50 million private sector shortfall in the investment in the London Olympiad meant that, for the remaining 12 sports, only £11.2 million of government and Lottery funding was available.
At that time, UK Sport committed to try and identify further funding, both from private investment and from other potential sources of income across the sporting landscape. These efforts have already been rewarded with an agreement reached with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, managed by SportsAid, which will see £1.8 million of its funds realigned to underpin UK Sport’s investment in these sports ahead of 2012.
In addition, positive talks are taking place with regards to securing additional funding for high performance sport. UK Sport is working closely with LOCOG, the BOA, BPA, DCMS and Fast Track to develop an innovative proposal that will be attractive to potential sponsors.
Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said:
“We made a commitment back in December to do our utmost to identify additional funding for our Olympic and Paralympic sports. A huge amount of hard work has gone into this and I’m delighted this is already starting to bear fruit. There is a real desire within British sport to maximize the opportunity of a home Games, typified by the co-operation of SportsAid which will help underpin our investment in these 12 sports.
“Furthermore, we are in close talks with our partners in the high performance system to develop an innovative and exciting proposal for private sector sponsors. This will leave us well-placed to continue to build an effective sustainable world-class performance system, allowing our athletes to achieve success in 2012 and beyond.”
The figures announced today by UK Sport include an option for each sport to ‘frontload’ their four-year award - making all of the investment available in 2009/10 and 2010/11. This maximizes the impact of each investment, albeit with a risk in terms of longer-term certainty, allowing all sports to continue to progress with their World Class Performance Programmes until a review in 2011.
At that point, their progress will be assessed in performance terms relative to that in all other sports, and decisions made about investment levels through to the Games.
“It was vital that, having successfully targeted our medal prospects, we also maximized the chances of every sport for London 2012 within our limited resources. While a risk, I believe that the flexible and performance orientated approach we have announced today does just that, with the potential two-year frontloading of the award giving everyone the chance to stay in the race. I would pay tribute to the sports involved for the approach they have taken, and we are committed to doing everything we can to continue to support their efforts.
“The past few months have not been easy for anyone, and the decisions we have taken have been tough. But I firmly believe we have done the best we can to deliver for all sports whilst remaining true to our core responsibility of driving medal success, that was seen to deliver so well in Beijing.”