Cuts looming for many in Team GB despite funding guarantee
Posted: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 13:16
UK Sport, the body that distributes money to the Olympic and Paralympic sports, will receive £125m funding a year in the run up to Rio 2016. It is estimated that around £87m per year of this will be from the National Lottery and the other £40m from the Government. David Cameron stated that "I want one of the legacies of these Games to be our athletes triumphing in Rio in 2016, and in future Olympic Games. Guaranteeing this funding will help ensure that happens."
Surrounding this news, it was reveal that sports in which Team GB may not reach the Olympics in 4 years times will not receive funding. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said that "there is no point funding sports that are not going to qualify". The news has been a blow to sports such as handball and volleyball, able to compete in London due to host-nation places, which are unlikely to meet the requirements on merit alone for a place at Rio.
Supporters of the "no compromise" policy said that it is the fairest way of developing elite athletes using public funding. Katherine Grainger (gold medal winner at London and three time Olympic silver medallist in the women's double sculls) said that "this is accountable money, public money. It has to be based on performance and it always has been."
However critics have been quick to point out that investment is needed in the less popular sports so that Team GB will be able to compete in them at an international level. They point out that without funding the sports will likely enter a spiral of decline, therefore not being able to build upon the publicity they received during the London 2012 Olympic Games.