Record Funding Boost For Olympic Sports

UK Sport has announced an 11% increase in funding for Olympics and Paralympic sports ahead of the 2016 Rio games.

Figures released today reveal that Britain will invest £347million over the next four years, as they look to become the first nation in recent history to be more successful post-hosting in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

The record cash injection has been made with the target of 66 medals in the Olympics and 121 in the Paralympics, one higher than in the London games.

Overall Olympic funding is up 5% to £276.2million, with rowing once again receiving the biggest investment. £32.6 million is being ploughed into the sport over the next four years following their nine medals in London.

Cycling and gymnastics have both been awarded a significant increase in funding after better than expected medal totals during the Olympics, while Badminton and Swimming are two of the bigger sports that have seen their investment cut after having a disappointing games.

UK Sport’s chairman Sue Campbell said: "It's not been easy sharing these decisions with them today. They are very disappointed but I think some of these sports have to improve their base, their competition structure, and drive up competition before they can really compete for medals at a world level.

"It isn't about being popular it's about making tough decisions about where public money goes."

Boxing saw the biggest increase in funding, with their funding up 44% to £13.8million following their five medal haul.

Judo saw their UK Sport funding cut by 9.3% to £6.8million, despite the sport earning more Team GB medals than targeted in London, while investment is up 22%% in Fencing despite not producing a single. 

Volleyball's budget was cut by nearly 90% to £400,000, with only women's beach volleyball benefiting from funding.

Handball was one of several sports to see their funding completely cut by UK Sport, which brought an angry reaction from some of the Team GB players. Chris McDermott tweeted: “I'm devastated. Absolutely gutted. Gave everything for 7 years now we've been chopped.”

Basketball, Table Tennis and Wrestling also have received no investment for the next four years, as they were listed in the sports without “credible medal potential”.

Investment in Paralympic sport has seen a huge rise, with funding up nearly 43% to £69.2million on London 2012.  All but two of the 19 Paralympic sports given UK Sport investment have been given improved funds, with Disability Archery and Powerlifting being the two to see a reduction in funding.

UKA Paralympic head coach, Paula Dunn, said: "Funding from UK Sport and the National Lottery was an integral part of our success in London this summer and we are absolutely delighted to be receiving an increased investment of 59% into the Paralympic programme."

Wheelchair Tennis saw the biggest increase of the Paralympic sports, as their funding is up 135% to £1.9 million following their two medals in September‘s games, while Athletics has been awarded £10.7million for the RIO games, up nearly £4 million.

The 2016 Olympics take place between 5 and 21 August in Rio de Janeiro, with the Paralympic games running between 7 and 18 September.