Big winners in Commonwealth Games funding round

BOXING, netball and snowsports have been confirmed as the big winners in the race to land extra funding after Sportscotland announced its giveaways up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Josh Taylors Commonwealth Games gold medal has helped increase funding for boxing. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

With golds won by Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor heading four medals for Scots boxers at Glasgow 2014, the sport has been handed a massive 44.75 per cent increase in its cash backing – with snowsports up 41.34 per cent.

Scotland’s netballers, meanwhile, have been challenged to go from zeroes to heroes by the time the Gold Coast comes around as part of a package of extra help for team sports from the £45 million funding pot.

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“It’s the first time netball have qualified for the world championships for a while, so there’s a momentum behind it,” said Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris. “We’ll look to see how they get on, but, when you balance the growth with their performance, we see an opportunity.

“We have to set challenges. Performance sport is an expensive business and we’re setting tough parameters, especially in team sports where the participation numbers are quite small. But to give us a chance of doing well, we have to set targets and netball are on that journey now and we’ll see how we get on.”

Wrestling, weightlifting and table tennis were the biggest losers in the funding row – with all three ordered to raise their game.

“They’re struggling in both performance and growth, and you can throw governance on top of that as well,” Harris added.

• Pole vaulter Jax Thoirs and discus prospect Kirsty Law have been handed their first Great Britain & Northern Ireland call-ups for this month’s European Team Championships in Cheboksary.

The pair are among six Scots in the 57-strong squad bound for Russia with Eilidh Child (400m hurdles), Guy Learmonth (800m), Lennie Waite (steeplechase) and Andy Butchart (3000m) also included.

With the Olympics just 15 months away, UK Athletics performance director Neil Black has urged his new faces to seize the opportunity to impress.

“The European Team Championships provides a good opportunity for us to develop and explore the pool of talent we have in this country,” he said.

“At this time of the season good decisions have to be made and we have selected a team with the aim of being competitive whilst giving some crucial debut opportunities to new names.”