UK Sport unveils funding for a wider range of sports
13th February 2019
There is hope that volleyball will receive more funding for its top-level athletes, after UK Sport announced a new strategy for funding Olympic and Paralympic Sport.
As a sport with small chance of achieving a medal at a Games, volleyball, along with many other sports, receives little funding for its elite athletes. Following a public consultation on how elite sport should be funded, UK Sport has now announced an exciting new blueprint for supporting performance sport, including a level of funding for sports which are at the early stage of building a performance programme.
Coming into force in April 2021, the Future Strategy will still support the ambition to deliver more medal-winning moments in the next Olympic and Paralympic cycles at Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. Sports with the greatest medal potential will still be prioritised, but, crucially, those sports which are still developing their performance programmes will have the opportunity for a financial boost in the new three tier funding system:
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 news of UK Sport's Future Strategy is a huge boost to volleyball and other sports which have traditionally received little funding for their performance programmes,” says Volleyball England chair Adam Walker. “The Progression Funding has the potential to provide opportunities and inspiration that could have a real impact on the volleyball community and these other sports.”
Volleyball England board member and lead of the Technical and Talent sub group, which leads on the performance aspect of the sport, Jefferson Williams is equally delighted: “It is great that UK Sport is recognising the positive effect these smaller sports can have and help them to be inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With Progression Funding, volleyball can continue to develop and expand its performance programmes and, hopefully, enhance the sport’s Olympic and Paralympic ambition.
The public consultation
The decision to include funding for a wider range of sports comes after a public consultation about how money should be invested in elite level sport. The volleyball community were urged to make their voice heard back in July and see more sports gain the benefit of UK Sport funding.
The consultation has helped to deliver a great result for volleyball. There were 4,923 responses to UK Sport consultation, a huge rise from the 924 to the last consultation back in 2014.
UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “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.
“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.”