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13 Feb 2019

UK Sport reveals new strategy – will relax 'no compromise' approach after Tokyo 2020
BY Tom Walker

Funding will still be focused on Olympic and Paralympic sports and prioritised towards athletes that demonstrate the greatest potential to deliver medal success

Funding will still be focused on Olympic and Paralympic sports and prioritised towards athletes that demonstrate the greatest potential to deliver medal success

UK Sport has set out its funding blueprint for the next Olympic and Paralympic cycles, covering the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Games.

The strategy includes a significant change in the way the high performance body will hand out grants – namely, the relaxing of its 'no compromise' approach to funding elite sport.

The 'no compromise' strategy prioritised grants to sports which exhibited the best medal hopes at major games. The flipside was that sports deemed to have less of a change of success – such as basketball, badminton and wheelchair rugby – had their funding slashed.

Instead, the new approach will see three tiers of funding that will channel investment into different stages of the performance pathway to enable the pursuit of medal success.

It will also reach deeper to developing the next generation of athletes and allowing more sports to realise their Olympic and Paralympic ambitions.

Funding will still, however, be focused on Olympic and Paralympic sports – and prioritised towards athletes that demonstrate the greatest potential to deliver medal success.

The funding tiers are:

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
Progression: Investment to enable sports and athletes to take the first step on the performance pathway

The new system means that by separately assessing Podium and Podium Potential investment streams, funding long-term potential is not dependent on short-term success. This is to ensure that the development of a complete and coherent performance pathway will enable a stronger connection between funded programmes.

Meanwhile, Progression Funding will extend UK Sport support to provide athletes with an even greater chance of succeeding at the Games over a longer timeframe.

It 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.

The new strategy follows an independent public consultation on the way UK Sport funds elite sport, which revealed that 61 per cent of people agreed the current medal winning strategy is "the right approach" to investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK, with only 10 per cent disagreeing.

The consultation saw 4,923 people submitting responses.

“As an investor of significant public funds, it is right UK Sport should ask the general public whether we should continue aiming to inspire the nation through medal success and whether we could change our focus in any way," said UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger.

“The findings have allowed us to create an exciting blueprint for the future of Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK and put the athlete at the heart of everything we do.

“We are confident the new strategy will help sustain medal success while enabling more communities to be inspired by the power of high performance sport.”



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