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London 2012: Six sports given extra UK Sport funding

The England women's hockey team celebrate
British hockey is among the winners in UK Sport's funding review

By Ollie Williams

Six summer Olympic sports have received a cash boost ahead of London 2012 in funding body UK Sport's annual review.

Boxing, canoeing, gymnastics, hockey, rowing and taekwondo have been rewarded for strong performances in 2010, but badminton's funding has been reduced.

Winter sport funding up to the Sochi Games in 2014 has risen by £4.8m with skeleton the main beneficiary, but there is no funding at all for skiing.

Figure skating and men's bobsleigh have also lost all financial support.

The Paralympic sport of goalball has seen its funding cut by £150,000 after a disappointing display at the World Championships while wheelchair curling is cut from £445,000 to £233,800, although Paralympic skiing has seen a £63,000 increase.

UK Sport says strong lottery sales contributed to the extra funding.

"The announcement represents an overall increase of £2.6m in spending for summer Olympic and Paralympic sport, with the additional funding found through reprioritisation of resources and greater than expected lottery sales," it said in a statement.

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The six sports set to benefit will receive between £197,000 and £1.13m in additional funding for the final two years of the London 2012 Olympic cycle.

Hockey's funding has been improved by more than £1m over the next two years, following a year in which the sport has been buoyed by medals in the men's and women's Champions Trophies and at the women's World Cup.

Gymnastics, which has a world champion once again in Beth Tweddle, receives an extra £625,000, while boxing has earned a boost of £570,000.

Taekwondo has just over £400,000 in additional income, while rowing and canoeing benefit to the tune of £300,000 and £200,000 respectively.

But Britain's badminton players, who struggled in 2010, lose £540,000 and the sport is now embarking on a strategic review of the programme for its top athletes.

"Whilst the outcome is disappointing, we believe it is a fair reflection on recent world level performances," admitted GB Badminton's chief executive, Adrian Christy.

All other summer sports' funding levels remain unchanged after a review which UK Sport believes is its "last opportunity to make a significant difference" to British hopes of medals at the London Olympics in 2012.

Amy Williams
Amy Williams won Britain's lone medal at Vancouver 2010

GB hockey's chief executive, Sally Munday, hailed the sport's funding increase as a "positive reflection of the performances and results of our teams on the hockey pitch".

Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall said the sport's additional cash was a "testament to the performances of the past 12 months which has seen us win a record number of gold medals in international competition".

UK Sport's announcement on Thursday came in two parts - the annual review of summer sport funding and the setting of winter sport funding for the next four years, up to Sochi 2014.

Skeleton's cash for Sochi increases by £1.3m to £3.4m following Amy Williams' gold medal in the sport at the Vancouver Games in February this year.

"This award will provide British Skeleton with the financial resources to support its performance programme and its athletes while we strive to be the most consistently successful skeleton nation in the world," said Bryn Vaile, the president of British Bob Skeleton

Curling (£2.1m), short-track speed skating (£2.8m) and bobsleigh (£2.4m for the women's programme, but not the men) will also be funded along with wheelchair curling and para-skiing, meaning a total for winter sports of £11.3m over the next four years.

"Bringing winter sports in line with their summer counterparts is the final piece of the 'no compromise' jigsaw and is something sports have been calling for to ensure complete clarity and fairness in the way in which we distribute our funds," said Baroness Sue Campbell, the chair of UK Sport.

"Beijing showed that the UK Sport 'no compromise' approach works and it is right this is now embedded across the whole high-performance system."

UK Sport attributes the increase in cash for several winter sports to this change in funding criteria, though a number of those sports - such as curling and bobsleigh - failed to fulfil ambitions of reaching the Vancouver podium.

Other winter sports now face a period in the wilderness after receiving no funding at all from UK Sport.

Skiing and snowboarding will be hard-hit by the withdrawal of all funding, which had already been halved for the Vancouver Olympic cycle, having seen their previous governing body suffer financial collapse on the eve of the 2010 Games.

The National Ice Skating Association, the governing body for both figure skating and short-track speed skating, experienced contrasting fortunes with its two sports.

While short-track received a bumper funding grant by its standards, almost £2m in excess of its award for the years preceding the Vancouver Games, figure skating lost its entire £500,000 grant.



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see also
First brand new 2012 venue opens
09 Dec 10 |  London 2012
GB team to discover funding fate
08 Dec 10 |  Winter Sports


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