- UK Sport announces 2015 performance targets, as UK celebrates Women’s Sport Week
- Olympic sports and athletes targeting between 39 and 71 medals at their most significant competitions in 2015
- Paralympic sports targeting between 110 and 156 medals at their milestone events in 2015
As the UK celebrates Women’s Sport Week (1-7 June), UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl has tipped the nation’s top sportswomen to continue to make the nation proud in 2015 and beyond.
Nicholl today (4 June 2015) revealed the most important competitions that UK Sport funded athletes will be contesting and the performance targets they will be looking to achieve in this crucial final year of preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Women currently make up 45% of UK Sport’s funded athlete population and have been a growing proportion of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists at each Games since the National Lottery funding via UK Sport began in 1997.
These numbers reached a high point on home soil at London 2012, where 39% and 47% of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists, respectively, were female.
The grand total of female medallists was 92 – the greatest number since the National Lottery funding for elite sport began. This was in stark contrast to Atlanta 1996 where - while there were 34 (35%) female Paralympic medal winners - Denise Lewis (bronze in the Heptathlon) was Britain’s solitary female Olympic medallist (4% of GB’s Atlanta medallists).
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “Our female athletes have already played a huge role, through their success, in championing equality in our society, and it’s fantastic that the number of female medallists and sporting role models continues to increase Games after Games.
“Our National Lottery funded high-performance system invests equitably in athletes of equal medal potential, regardless of gender, and this is making a difference for women in sport.
“This year is all about final preparations for Rio, and I know our sportswomen are poised for more success.
“I urge the nation to get behind all our athletes, as they work hard to secure Olympic and Paralympic qualification, ready to amaze and inspire us all in Rio next year.”
The majority of milestone targeted events are World or European Championships in this non-Olympic and Paralympic year. The collective medal target range for the Olympic sports in 2015 is between 39 and 71, and the medal target range for Paralympic sports is 110 to 156.
A small number of sports or disciplines have already contested their milestone events for this year; GB Taekwondo secured three medals at the recent World Taekwondo Championships, including gold for Bianca Walkden, who follows in Sarah Stevenson’s footsteps as only the second British World Taekwondo Champion in history. Talent ID athletes Damon Sansum and Rachelle Booth won silver and bronze, respectively.
The next milestone event begins next week (10 June), as the GB Women’s Hockey team, bronze medallists at London 2012, will contest the World League Semi Finals in Valencia, where they will be hoping to secure Olympic Qualification for Rio 2016 and a place in the World League Final.
While many of these events will be taking place overseas, there are plenty of opportunities for British fans to support their athletes on home soil this year, through UK Sport’s #EveryRoadtoRio events series. A number of sports, including Para-Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball, Gymnastics and Canoeing, will be hoping for a boost from home crowd support at their World or European Championships, which are set to take place in the UK over the coming months.
See the Olympic milestone targets for 2015 >
See the Paralympic milestone targets for 2015 >
Find out how to buy your tickets now at #EveryRoadtoRio >