London 2012 Olympics: Liz Nichol warns some sports will lose out on funding
Liz Nichol, the chief executive of UK Sport, has confirmed that some Olympic sports will lose their funding in the wake of London 2012.
The government has pledged to invest £508 million of exchequer and lottery money into sport over the next four years, virtually the same amount that funded Britain’s success in London.
But UK Sport’s “no compromise” policy means only those sports which can demonstrate they will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics are likely to receive any of that money.
The final decision will be made in December, following a period of review, with the new funding cycle starting in January.
The policy is expected to hit sports such as handball and volleyball, which had benefited from receiving host nation places at London 2012.
“We will not be able to fund each and every sport that we funded this time round,” Nichol said. “We will invest in every sport that has medal potential. The sports that are very likely to multi-medal will be our top priority. We have the same amount of money as we had for the last cycle. Success is costly because the more successful you are, the more potential medallists you have got, the more athletes we have to support to achieve the medal potentials.
“For handball and other sports that have been given host-nation places here, they have to demonstrate to us that they can qualify by right for the Olympic Games. If they can’t be there, then they can’t be supported to achieve a medal. That’s what our no-compromise approach is all about, that’s the approach that works. We will not waver.”
UK Sport’s policy places sports like volleyball in a Catch-22 situation. The British Volleyball Federation, who yesterday lost men’s coach Harry Brokking because they cannot afford to pay his wages, argue they need funding in order to stand a chance of qualifying for Rio. The BVF received a shade over £3.5m from UK Sport over the four-year build-up to London but did not meet all their performance targets at the Olympics.
The number of Olympic sports has now increased to 28 with the inclusion of rugby sevens and golf in the sporting programme for Rio. Britain won 65 medals, including 29 golds, across 17 sports to at the London Olympics, to finish above Russia in third place in the medal table.
While it may not be possible to increase the number of medal-winning sports in Rio, performance advisor Peter Keen is convinced Team GB can improve on their record haul of 65 medals.
“It doesn’t stop,” Keen said. “There are so many things we can improve. There are so many errors.”
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