Be volleyball's voice in performance funding consultation

10th July 2018

Be volleyball's voice in performance funding consultation

UK Sport is currently running a consultation about funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports. Here's a message from Volleyball England's CEO Janet Inman who is urging those who are passionate about volleyball to get the sport's voice heard in the consultation...

As you know, under the current UK Sport investment policy Volleyball receives no funding to support its performance programmes. A live consultation from UK Sport is now open, this will determine future funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports. The number of sports now receiving funding for their elite programmes has been reduced dramatically, and will continue to decline as we head to Tokyo in 2020 and Paris in 2024.

Should the current UK Sport policy continue, the implications for Volleyball are huge because as a team sport we cannot deliver multiple medal opportunities.

Since UK Sports investment decision, following the London 2012 Olympics, not to provide any performance funding to Volleyball our athletes have had to self-fund any attempt to perform at the highest level.  

We have seen athletes that are good enough to perform in elite competitions retiring or leaving the sport because they cannot afford to compete and we don’t have the resources to support them.

Around 18 months ago, a group of Olympic and Paralympic sports, including Volleyball, came together around the concept that Every Sport Matters. The group strongly believes that:

  • The existing approach to National Lottery funding of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports has created a two-class system that runs counter to Olympic ideals.
  • Opportunities for elite British athletes in all Olympics and Paralympics sports need not run counter to the pursuit of medals. More sports competing and more athletes delivering more medals will make Great Britain even prouder.
  • Medal targets alone should not be the sole criteria for funding because:

It is the responsibility of UK Sport to ensure that all our Olympic and Paralympic athletes are supported to achieve their full potential and that a system of development opportunities should be there for all. 

We need to encourage UK Sport and those who hold the purse strings, that all Olympic and Paralympic sport should receive ‘baseline funding’ – this would protect the high-performance system in the UK. Sports would then receive individual investment beyond this based on their medal potential. If this approach were applied for the Tokyo Olympic cycle, the money required to provide baseline funding for those sports that are currently unfunded would represent a little over 1% of UK Sport’s total budget of £550 million for the cycle.

As a governing body we cannot sit back and watch a generation of talented athletes not able to develop and emerge from our sports?  Surely, this is not what we want for the future.

YOUR say will influence the next generation and we believe there is an opportunity to create a new, bold, inclusive goal to underpin the next 20+ years of participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games: more sports represented, more athletes taking part and more medals won across a wider base of sports.
All of us who are passionate about Volleyball need to respond to the consultation, our voice needs to be heard on behalf of the future generations of players who will struggle to reach their full potential, not through the lack of ability, but reduced opportunity through lack of funding.

Have your say - - in the hope that UK Sport, and the Government, are listening.

The consultation closes on the 19th August 2018.
Janet Inman, CEO Volleyball England

Be volleyball's voice in performance funding consultation