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UK Sport announce Wheelchair Fencing to receive funding for Rio cycle

on 01-02-2013 14:00

UK Sport has today announced the outcomes of their Board meeting earlier this week (30 January) at which six National Governing Bodies (NGBs) took up the offer to make informal representation* to UK Sport’s Board.

This opportunity was offered to NGBs, outside of the formal appeals process, allowing them to make direct representation to UK Sport’s Board to reconsider the decisions made in December 2012 on the investment into Olympic and Paralympic sports for the 2013-2017 (Rio 2016) investment cycle.

The following NGBs attended to make informal representations:

• British Basketball
• British Disabled Fencing Association
• British Table Tennis Federation
• British Volleyball Federation (on behalf of beach, indoor and sitting volleyball disciplines)
• British Weight Lifting (on behalf of weightlifting and powerlifting disciplines)
• British Wrestling

Following this process, the UK Sport Board has decided to award funding for the Rio cycle to Basketball and Wheelchair Fencing; and to revisit with Beach Volleyball the costs of operating a small squad programme for two athletes. It was decided that there will be no change to the awards given to the remaining sports**, due to insufficient evidence of medal potential in 2016 or 2020; or in the case of British Weight Lifting that the original funds awarded were sufficient to realise their current medal potential.

The application of UK Sport's 'No Compromise' approach means that they fund on a top down, meritocratic basis, as resources allow, and in pursuit of high level goals for more medals in Rio and further success in 2020.

Basketball and Wheelchair Fencing presented new and compelling performance information that reprioritised those sports and Board agreed to further investment. However, in both cases, UK Sport’s award will be on a one year conditional basis with the following three years funding released only on the fulfilment of strict performance criteria. The exact amount of investment to be awarded to these sports will be determined through further dialogue with the two sports in the coming weeks.

Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of the UK Sport Board, said: “I appreciate this has been, and continues to be, a very difficult time for those sports and athletes with no funding. I speak on behalf of UK Sport’s Board when I say that we would like to thank those who presented to us on Wednesday for their commitment to the process and clear dedication to their athletes.

“We want to make it clear that we do not consider any of the non-funded sports to have failed. In fact most have made significant progress within this unique period whereby they
were funded exceptionally given it was a home Games.

“Our decisions have been made on the detailed assessment of a sport’s future potential for medal success in Rio 2016 or 2020. The Board were assured by the level of detail that had been explored throughout the Rio investment process.

“Our decisions have been made on the detailed assessment of a sport’s future potential for medal success in Rio 2016 or 2020."Baroness Sue Campbell

“These are tough decisions that the Board have to make to ensure our resources are focused on supporting every credible medal opportunity for the 2016 or 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “UK Sport is delighted to be able to confirm that we will now be investing in two additional sports for the Rio cycle, taking the overall total to 44 sports. These sports have credible medal potential for 2016 or 2020. This is a fantastic legacy from London 2012 for the UK high performance system and demonstrates the progress UK Sport has been able to make thanks to continued support from The National Lottery and Government.

“Our ‘No Compromise’ investment principles have generated incredible results in recent Games, and we continue to wholeheartedly believe in this approach to realise our high ambitions for the Rio 2016 Games, where we are aiming for more Olympic and Paralympic medals than were won in London. Our approach will deliver a stronger more sustainable high performance system.

“The door is not closed to any sport that has had their funding reduced or stopped. Every sport has the opportunity to come back to us at the annual review stage to make a case for future funding if they can demonstrate sufficient progress to evidence a credible medal opportunity within the next eight years.

“We will work with those sports that are not funded for the Rio cycle to manage this transition, to help them shape their future plans.”

Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport, said: “I am delighted that at their informal representations, both Basketball and Wheelchair Fencing, were able to produce new performance data that showed that they have a realistic chance of getting a medal in 2020. This is good news for both sports, and would not have been possible without the Governments lottery reforms in May 2010.”

John Anderson, Performance Director for GB Canoeing and Chair of the Performance Directors Forum said: “Since the introduction of National Lottery funding to elite sport in the UK in 1997 we have worked in partnership with UK Sport to create a high performance system that is now World leading.

“The outstanding success at the home Games in London was achieved through our athletes’ dedication, talent and hard work, but underpinning this success was UK Sport’s 'No Compromise' philosophy that has been the bedrock of our success. ‘No Compromise’ is understood by athletes and sports but crucially also by our Government that has supported us all with the unprecedented levels of funding.

“We can now look forward to the Rio cycle and the challenges that we all face to continue to improve in everything that we do.”


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