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08 Feb 2019

Seven sports secure UK Sport funding to help with Tokyo 2020 plans
BY Tom Walker

The decision to launch the new fund – and offer grants to sports such as basketball – is widely seen as a softening of UK Sport's “no compromise” approach

The decision to launch the new fund – and offer grants to sports such as basketball – is widely seen as a softening of UK Sport's “no compromise” approach

Seven sports will receive extra funding to support their plans for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Basketball, sitting volleyball, baseball and wrestling will receive grants from the Aspiration Fund, while fencing, wheelchair fencing and boccia will receive additional investment as part of UK Sport's annual review process.

The £3m Aspiration Fund was launched in December 2018 and initially saw 14 Olympic and Paralympic sports receive investment to help support their ambitions for Tokyo 2020.

The decision to launch the new fund is widely seen as a softening of the elite sport body's “no compromise” approach, under which only sports with an expectation of winning a medal at Olympic or Paralympic Games receive support.

Grants from the Aspiration Fund are capped at £500,000 for team sports and £275,000 for individual sports while they will run to the end of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

"With the addition of basketball, sitting volleyball, baseball and wrestling, the Aspiration Fund investment will now reach a total of 18 sports ahead of Tokyo 2020," said Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport.

According to British Volleyball Federation (BVF) president Richard Callicott, the Aspiration Fund is a "lifeline" for teams such as Team GB volleyball, which has been training under "difficult circumstances".

“The team has been finding it very difficult to train and compete internationally, with players having to find all the costs themselves," Callicott said.

“This gives the players a considerable boost to their morale in their quest to reach Tokyo 2020.”

The totals received by each sport from the Aspiration Fund:

Basketball £75,000
Baseball £30,500
Wrestling £41,600
Sitting Volleyball £11,000



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