GB beach volleyball receives grant for Olympic qualification

7th December 2018

GB beach volleyball receives grant for Olympic qualification

UK Sport is backing British beach volleyball after it announced the sport has been successful in applying for a grant from the Aspiration Fund.

The British Volleyball Federation has been awarded £68,750 for a beach volleyball programme. These vital funds will help Great Britain qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and deliver a social action plan designed to engage and inspire British communities.

The £3 million Aspiration Fund was set up by UK Sport to support sports which currently do not receive performance funding for elite level competition with the aim of helping drive them to qualify for the Olympics or Paralympics. Volleyball England and the Scottish Volleyball Association worked in collaboration to put together the successful bid on behalf of the British Volleyball Federation.

In addition to supporting beach volleyball qualification for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, part of the fund will be allocated towards the delivery of a social action plan, which was a requirement for bids to the Aspiration fund. Serving as great role models, through the social action plan, athletes, coaches and volunteers championing volleyball nationwide, will be set to have a lasting impact on British communities.

President of the British Volleyball Federation, Richard Callicott says it’s a huge boost to the sport:

“It is great for beach volleyball and the potential of British athletes to be recognised by UK Sport. We’re really excited by the opportunity to prepare teams to compete on the world stage and by the wider impact this funding can have on the volleyball community.

“Volleyball is a dynamic, inclusive and fun sport and seeing Team GB on the beach courts in Tokyo could provide the inspiration for more people to fall in love with the sport.”

The next step with the funding is for the British Volleyball Association to work with Volleyball England, the Scottish Volleyball Association and UK Sport to agree on how the money can be best invested to help achieve Olympic qualification. The immediate priority will be getting the programme and British pairs in place for the Continental Cup, a two-year competition which begins in May 2019 and provides a qualification route into the Olympic Games.

Great Britain sitting volleyball

The wide-ranging appeal and inclusiveness of volleyball was underlined as UK Sport will also be working with the British Volleyball Federation to support sitting volleyball. Despite the team not receiving a grant at this time, UK Sport have committed to helping the Great Britain women’s sitting volleyball team with qualification for Tokyo 2020.

There were many applications for funding for over £4.8 million of the £3 million Aspiration Fund and priority was given to sports with the greatest chance of qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

The Great Britain women’s sitting volleyball team did not receive funding during this announcement as other sports, from the oversubscribed applications to the Aspiration Fund, were deemed closer to Olympic or Paralympic qualification.

However, UK Sport recognised the value of sitting volleyball and the fact that Paralympic qualification for the GB women’s sitting team was still a possibility. Therefore, funding has been reserved to support the team at the next qualification event, which is likely to be the European Championships

“It’s brilliant that UK Sport see the potential in sitting volleyball,” says Richard. “The bid was not successful immediately but this commitment by UK Sport gives us prime motivation to develop the current set-up and access some vital monies which will allow us to test the waters to see if qualification to the Games is achievable.”

On the impact of the funding, Richard continued: “Exciting times lie ahead of the British Volleyball family and we welcome the support that this successful Aspiration Fund bid will bring. Continuing to work in collaboration with the Home Nations, and to work closely with UK Sport, we can drive volleyball towards Olympic qualification.

“The British Volleyball Federation must give thanks to the athletes, coaches, volunteers and volleyball community both past and present, all of whom have contributed to deliver our sport to this moment. Through this shared passion we all continue to grow our sport.”

GB beach volleyball receives grant for Olympic qualification