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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Funds boost for Paralympic sport
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson
Tanni Grey Thompson is Britain's most successful Paralympian
UK Sport has made recruiting new athletes capable of winning medals in London in 2012 a central plank of its Paralympics funding package.

The governing body has unveiled how it will allocate 6.5m of Government funds through to March 2009.

Britain's Paralympians won 35 golds and were second in the Athens medal table, but top spot is the goal for 2012.

"A crucial element is the successful identification and recruitment of athletes," said UK Sport's Liz Nicholl.

"Without the sustained and co-ordinated approach this additional funding provides, there may not be enough athletes of the right standard in the World Class system to replenish numbers in sufficient quantity for 2012."

The London Games will set new standards for inclusion and accessibility

Sports Minister Richard Caborn
The funding is part of the extra 300m that Chancellor Gordon Brown promised British sport in the run-up to London 2012 in his March Budget.

This new investment brings the total funding in the run-up to Beijing to 29m.

It includes first-time investment, specifically with 2012 in mind, for three new team sports (goalball, football and volleyball) and an additional discipline (women's wheelchair basketball).

There will also be continued investment in the 16 Paralympic sports already funded by UK Sport.

"In developing an investment package for Paralympic sport we have maintained our 'no compromise' approach which focuses on those sports and athletes most likely to deliver medals in Beijing and London," Nicholl, UK Sport's Performance Director, added.

"However, the additional funds provided by Government also allow us to invest in sports that, whilst not necessarily being at the level, have the ability to at least be competitive at the home Games in 2012."

Sports Minister Richard Caborn added: "Paralympic sport is a key priority for Government and is at the heart of our plans for 2012 - the London Games will set new standards for inclusion and accessibility.

"The funding package announced demonstrates that we are serious about supporting our top Paralympic athletes to compete at the highest level."



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