10:36am Wednesday 19th December 2012
MOST of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports were celebrating the announcement of funding rises for the next four years but several sports, including swimming, basketball, volleyball and handball, are paying the price for failure with severe cuts to their income.
UK Sport announced a record pot of £347m to be distributed in the run-up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games with cycling, rowing, boxing, athletics and gymnastics among those given increases.
It is a different story for those sports that did not meet their performance targets in London including swimming, whose funding is cut to £21.4m from £25.1m, volleyball (down to £400,000 from £3.5m), plus basketball, handball, wrestling and table tennis, which miss out on funding altogether.
UK Sport’s target is for Britain to be even more successful in Rio than in London, where the teams won 65 medals in the Olympics and 120 in the Paralympics.
The funding body’s chief executive Liz Nicholl said: “We want to be the first nation in recent history to be more successful in the Olympics and Paralympics post-hosting.”
UK Sport’s chairman Sue Campbell admitted some sports would be devastated by the news.
She added however: ‘‘It isn’t about being popular it’s about making tough decisions about where public money goes.’’ The biggest increase of any Olympic sport goes to boxing, a 44 per cent increase, to £13.8m, though £9.55m is conditional on the sport sorting out some internal issues.
Cycling is up to £30.6m from £26.3m, athletics has a £1.7m increase to £26.8m, rowing up from £27.3m to £32.6m, and gymnastics up from £10.8m to £14.5m.
Investment in Paralympic sport also rises dramatically, up 43 per cent on London 2012.
Nicholl added: ‘‘Today will be good news for some and it will be painful for others who haven’t met the criteria.
‘‘It’s not been easy sharing these decisions with them today.
“They are very disappointed but I think some of these sports have to improve their base, their competition structure, and drive up competition before they can really compete for medals at a world level.”
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