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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 03:53 GMT
Synchro stars demand more funding
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Melbourne

Jenna Randall
Randall is among the swimmers asking for more financial backing
England's synchronised swimmers insist they can bring back more medals - but only if they get government funding.

Jenna Randall won solo silver at the Commonwealth Games but believes she can advance to Olympic level with more financial support.

"Funding would make a big difference because it takes a lot of money to train for competitions at this level," Randall told BBC Sport.

"If we were given some money it'd help tremendously for the 2012 Olympics."

The sport does not receive lottery funding although Randall has been awarded with a Task 2012 scholarship which aims to encourage athletes who have the potential to perform well at the London Olympics.

We desperately need funding - we are just scraping by on what we've got
England performance director Adele Carlsen

Chancellor Gordon Brown will announce in his annual budget statement on Wednesday whether he will pour more money into sport.

UK Sport has asked for an extra 300m spread over the next six years and Mr Brown's decision will have a big impact on minority sports like synchronised swimming.

"We hope to be funded as an Olympic development sport as the Olympics are the ultimate target for us," said England performance director Adele Carlsen.

"However, there is an option that the UK Sport may only fund sports who have won Olympic medals in the past and we really hope they don't go down that path.

"As the host nation, Britain will get a spot at the London Olympics but if we don't get funding we will really be struggling to send a decent squad.

"We believe can be in the top 12 teams in the world by 2012 but without funding we are not going to be able to achieve that.

"We do desperately need funding because as it is we are just scraping by on what we've got."

Synchronised swimming is growing in the UK and, discounting unregistered clubs, there are about 1,000 youngsters learning the sport across the country.

Links to more Commonwealth Games stories



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