The UK Sport Board met on 23 March, where one of the items for discussion was to reconsider recommendations around the funding of the Wheelchair Tennis world class programme. The recommendation from the UK Sport executive was that Wheelchair Tennis should be classified as a Tier One sport for Co-funding purposes, which means the sport is deemed to have access to sufficient non-grant income to fully self-fund its programme. This recommendation was accepted by the UK Sport Board and therefore UK Sport will not fund the core Wheelchair Tennis world class programme for the Tokyo cycle. However, to enable Wheelchair Tennis to manage the transition, UK Sport had already agreed to extend the current world class programme award to 30 June 2017 and in addition to this today agreed that UK Sport will continue to provide Athlete Performance Awards (APAs) to athletes for the Tokyo Cycle. The Board has decided that thereafter the sport will need to take financial responsibility for all aspects of their performance strategy.
UK Sport would like to thank the Tennis Foundation for their patience and professionalism throughout this process. We have every faith in the sport's ability to deliver multi medal success in Tokyo and will continue to offer them our technical support and expertise. The medal potential of the sport and athletes is not in question here, it is a case of financial need. We are operating within such fine margins of investment that we need to scrutinise every investment proposal for evidence of financial need.