Recent update on how the UK Sports plan to tackle elite performance funding and cuts: UK Sport are investing National Lottery and Government funding into in 32 Olympic and Paralympic sports in the Tokyo cycle.
Following from the birth of UK Sport in 1997, the National Lottery and taxation have enabled funding across a number Olympic and Paralympic of sports, crossovers of some include: athletics, cycling, swimming and canoeing.
However, archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, fencing, handball, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wheelchair rugby and table tennis, are amongst those that were cut out of funding plans in December 2016.
With criticisms of unfairness pointing towards the medal league tables and the effect of Brexit and the rates of inflation, other teams are left to compete for funding. Despite the following the team’s efforts in the Rio 2016 Olympics, plans for a re-evaluation of the funding scheme are to be called by several sporting governing bodies.
In a joint manifesto, 11 of the representatives state: “ we urge UK Sport to recognise that medal targets alone should not be the sole criteria for its funding.”
The £345million funding strategy has been implemented since 1997, however after recent cuts, criticisms about the strategy has risen with regards to a development of a two-class system.
Dame Katherine Grainger, now chair of UK Sport, empathises with the athletes that have been affected by the cuts and as published by BBC Sports, states: “if I was in their shoes, I would be doing the same”.
In another publication by UK Sport, she continues to notes: “I will of course listen to these sports’ concerns, and UK Sport will go out to consultation again on its investment strategy for the 2024 cycle.”
Though currently, the UK Sports meritocratic table goes unchanged due to the tight financial cuts, however the agency reassures athletes that the decision is: “no way a reflection on them, their athletes or support personnel and everything that they have achieved to date.”
Nonetheless, UK Sport have stated: “To support those affected, we have put in place a comprehensive transition and support package and are working closely with these sports to help staff and athletes move out of UK Sport funding.”