The athletes within the sports cast aside by UK Sport’s current investment policy have little hope for change as UK Sport looks ahead to Paris 2024 (Grainger warns cuts will hit medal haul, Sport, 5 June).
Under the heading of “Future Strategy”, the wording of UK Sport’s live consultation survey on future funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport illustrates that there is little appetite for change. Its assertion that “with a fixed amount of investment to distribute to sports, a change to the current investment policy such as an equal distribution of funding for all sports could have direct consequences” seems designed to create fear that there will be a total collapse of the UK medal tally should the current funding model be meddled with.
A number of unfunded Olympic and Paralympic sports have championed the principle that every sport matters and have attempted to establish a constructive dialogue with UK Sport. During those discussions, we have never suggested all sports should be equally funded. But we do believe that giving many millions of pounds to some sports but none to others is divisive and will prove self-defeating. We think the British public believes in fairness and equality of opportunity, and the best way to achieve this is to provide at least a baseline level of funding to all Olympic and Paralympic sports. We are confident that this can be achieved without sacrificing current medal success.
We call upon the public, in responding to the UK Sport consultation, to support a change to the current funding system to one that creates a new, bold, inclusive goal to underpin the next 20-plus years of participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games: more sports (represented), more athletes (qualified) and more medals (won across more sports).
Have your say at tinyurl.com/uksportsurvey
Neil Armitage Chief executive, Archery GB, Adrian Christy Chief executive, Badminton England, Bob Fromer Baseball/Softball UK, Georgina Usher Chief executive, British Fencing, Paul Bray Chair, British Handball, Mark Armstrong Chair, GB Luge, David Pond Chief executive, GB Wheelchair Rugby, Sara Sutcliffe Chief executive, Table Tennis England, Richard Calicott President, British Volleyball, Ashley Metcalfe Chief executive, British Weightlifting, Colin Nicholson Chief executive, British Wrestling
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