As Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports enter their new London funding cycle (1 April 2009-31 March 2013), UK Sport’s Chair, Baroness Sue Campbell looks ahead to arguably the most eagerly anticipated four years in British sporting history.
“Today marks the start of our new funding agreements with sports which sees an unprecedented £304 million invested in our brightest Olympic and Paralympic medal prospects. In these harsh economic times, such a commitment of Government and Lottery funding is testimony to the importance of sport in this country and the value that has been placed on winning as many medals as we possibly can in London. We are now working very hard to supplement this with private investment through the Team 2012 Partnership with London 2012 and the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations.
“There is no doubt these days that excellence costs money and if we want to build on the fantastic achievements of Beijing, this level of investment is essential. That being said, money alone is no guarantee of success. We have a duty to ensure that every single penny is spent appropriately at providing our very best athletes will all the support they need to succeed at the highest level. It is a duty we take extremely seriously – being responsible for public funds in the current environment means that you simply have to be accountable and responsible for the results of your investment.
“We believe very much that we are. The success in Beijing was built on our ‘No Compromise’ approach to funding which is unashamedly about targeting investment where it is most likely to deliver medals. That might seem harsh, but in the modern sporting environment it is the right thing to do, particularly when there are other organisations in our sporting infrastructure which support sports at other levels.
“This has meant we have had to make some tough decisions, but we strongly believe they are the right ones. Beijing was fantastic and we are determined that London 2012 will be even better as we target more medals in more sports both at the Olympics and Paralympics. I’m hugely excited by this prospect and am sure we are very well placed to deliver. We want to grasp this opportunity with both hands and will not compromise on the approach we’ve taken to do so.”