UK Sport has today officially launched its new National Squads Support Fund, which will see up to £2.4m invested into a further eight sports.
Six Olympic and two Paralympic sports will initially benefit from the National Squads Support Fund. It is expected to have an impact on over 100 athletes that would otherwise not receive support and offer a crucial contribution in enabling them to represent their country on the biggest stages.
The National Squads Support Fund will positively contribute to the development of credible national squads, specifically enabling athletes to attend major international championships and access other events that form the critical path to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The investment into these eight sports brings the number of sports set to receive funding from the Government and The National Lottery to 51 with 36 on World Class Programme and seven on Progression.
The breakdown of investment to the eight sports as part of the National Squads Support Fund is as follows, up to:
- Artistic Swimming – £216,250
- Goalball – £245,000
- Handball – £375,000
- Sitting Volleyball – £375,000
- Softball – £288,750
- Volleyball – £260,000
- Water Polo – £375,000
- Wrestling – £260,000
Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “The National Squads Support Fund is a key part of our new investment approach and demonstrates our commitment to a wider group of sports and athletes in our Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community.
We are investing in a longer-term, holistic view of success, powering a broader range of sports, champions and medallists, built on the highest standards of integrity and partnership.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of the Government and The National Lottery, it is really pleasing to be confirming these eight summer Olympic and Paralympic sports set to benefit from the National Squads Support Fund.
This is an important contribution for the athletes and sports involved, and we are looking forward to working with these eight sports and watching their progress as a result.”
The National Squads Support Fund is available to summer Olympic and Paralympic sports that did not receive World Class Programme or Progression funding as part of the December investment process through to Paris 2024 and beyond.
In addition to these eight sports, UK Sport is currently in discussions with the new Olympic sport of Breaking which is also eligible to be considered for an investment from the National Squads Support Fund.
Paul Bray, Chairman at British Handball, said: “This funding is a significant moment for our sport and everyone at British Handball is hugely grateful to UK Sport for recognising the need to support sports such as handball going forward.
This financial support adds to that which we gratefully receive from the International Handball Federation (IHF) and is absolutely crucial in securing our sport at the elite level, providing the pathway and platform for our athletes, coaches and staff to represent Great Britain at the highest level.”
Richard Callicott OBE, President at the British Volleyball Federation, said: “The British Volleyball Federation is pleased with the award made by UK Sport.
It will provide us with a way forward to compete and train as we prepare for Paris 2024 and gives our players an increased incentive by being recognised.
We thank UK Sport for having the vision to recognise the value of helping unfunded sports on the first steps to future success. Creating the National Squads Support Fund is a great move in the right direction. We look forward to showing what we can achieve.’
Craig Anthony, Chief Executive at British Wrestling, said: “British Wrestling is delighted to receive this National Squads Support Funding, which will give us the opportunity to support talented wrestlers to compete on the world stage.
These funds will aid the continued growth of our performance programme and give our athletes the experiences they need to develop.
Wrestling is an incredibly diverse sport and this funding from UK Sport and the National Lottery will help us in our mission to support wrestlers from all backgrounds to achieve their potential.”
For the Paris cycle, 36 summer Olympic and Paralympic sports will receive World Class Programme funding. The World Class Programme operates at two tiers:
Podium: Investment to athletes and teams with a realistic chance of an Olympic or Paralympic podium position within four years.
Podium Potential: Investment to athletes and teams with a realistic chance of an Olympic or Paralympic podium position within four to eight years.
In addition, seven summer Olympic and Paralympic sports will receive Progression Funding for the Paris cycle, extending UK Sport’s support to provide athletes with an even greater chance of succeeding at the Games over a longer timeframe.
Progression Funding will allow more sports to benefit from investment, more athletes to be identified earlier and further down the talent pathway and more communities to be engaged and impacted.
Eight sports will benefit from the National Squads Support Fund, which will positively contribute to the development of credible national squads, specifically enabling athletes to attend major international championships and access other events that form the critical path to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency. Its vision is to inspire the nation through Olympic and Paralympic success.
Primarily this means working with their partner sporting organisations to support athletes to win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
UK Sport’s strategic direction helped British sports and athletes make history at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games when British athletes won more medals post hosting in London 2012.
UK Sport has responsibility for activities best delivered at a UK level including: bidding for and staging major sporting events in this country; increasing sporting activity and influence overseas; and promoting sporting conduct, ethics and diversity in society.
UK Sport is funded by a mix of Government Exchequer and Lottery income. More @ www.uksport.gov.uk