UK Sport aims to maximise 2012 medal success

Hockey has received a boost following UK Sport's annual review process with the news that funding from UK Sport for the elite end of the sport will increase for the remainder of the 2009-2013 funding cycle.

As a result of excellent performances and results on the hockey pitch, the sport's funding for the cycle will increase from £13,847,400 to £14,981,200, meaning an increase of £1,133,800 over the next two years.

Sally Munday, Chief Operating Officer at GB Hockey and Chief Executive of England Hockey, said: “We’re very pleased with today’s funding announcement for hockey from UK Sport.  The confidence shown in our players, our sport and us as the National Governing Body for hockey by UK Sport underlines the progress that has been made in the sport over the past few years and is a positive reflection of the performances and results of our teams on the hockey pitch.

"In recent years the England men have become European Champions and achieved significant results on the world stage including fourth at the World Cup and second at the Champions Trophy.  At the same time, our women have finished on the podium in all three of their 2010 tournaments, winning bronze at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy as well as at the 2009 European Championships.  Those performances and results have come as a result of well thought out decisions taken four or five years ago, which have been consistently implemented in the years since.

“What today’s announcement will allow us to do is continue to invest in the areas that are starting to pay dividends, namely increasing coach-to-athlete contact time, coach development and sports science and sports medicine innovation.  It will allow us to push on with our progress and  will help ensure we give our hockey players the highest chance of success come London 2012 – people in the UK love team sport and hockey is going to be THE team sport to see at the London Olympics in 2012.”

Read the full statement from UK Sport below.

MORE FUNDING FOR FRONT LINE AS UK SPORT AIMS TO MAXIMISE 2012 MEDAL SUCCESS

  • Investment review last chance for significant changes before London
  • Six Olympic sports receiving more money for final medal push
  • 2010 best year for Summer Sport at this stage of any Olympic & Paralympic cycle
  • Uplift in Sochi 2014 funding figures also announced, with Winter Sports judged on same criteria as Summer Sports for the first time

British hopes of medal success at London 2012 have been boosted, with UK Sport making changes to its investments in Summer Olympic and Paralympic sports that maximize the chance for athletes to win more medals across more sports than ever before.  The changes are the last significant opportunity to impact meaningfully on 2012, with little over 18 months before the Games begin. 

The announcement comes as part of UK Sport’s annual review of all its investments at the mid-cycle point before the Games and represents an overall increase of £2.6 million in spending for summer Olympic and Paralympic sport, with the additional funding found through reprioritization of resources and greater than expected Lottery sales.

The review retains the highly successful ‘no compromise’ investment approach that helped produce the incredible performances by Team GB and Paralympics GB in Beijing. A total of six summer Olympic sports will see their funding increased for the final two years of the London funding cycle, a move that UK Sport believes will provide these sports with the opportunity to reach their full potential and maximize the medals won.   

Hockey, Gymnastics, Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Rowing and Canoeing have each received an increase in funding for the final two years of the London cycle, ranging between £1.13m and £197,000.

It follows another very positive year for Olympic and Paralympic summer sport.  The majority of sports have shown real progress on the journey to the Games, with 40 medals won at World and European level in Olympic disciplines and 84 in Paralympic disciplines, meaning we are further ahead at this stage of the Olympiad than before any previous Games.

Two sports, Badminton and Goalball, have seen their funding reduced, reflecting their current performance profile. 

Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said: “2010 has been an incredibly positive year for many of our Summer Olympic & Paralympic sports and our announcement today reflects that sense of momentum to 2012.
“Our decisions are made on the back of hugely detailed analysis and review of all our investments which, combined with active management of our total budget, means we are in position to allocate more funding than ever before towards athlete success. We can do this also thanks to certainty we now have from Government following the spending review, which represented a very positive settlement in difficult times, and the continued vital support of the National Lottery and Team 2012 presented by Visa.

“Sports now know what they have for the final push – this review represents the last significant opportunity for changes to investment before 2012.  We believe we have got it right for hitting our targets in two years time – not just in finishing in the top 4 in the Olympics and 2nd in the Paralympics but, crucially for a home Games, winning more medals across more sports than ever before.

Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson MP, added:  “This demonstrates our commitment to support our top athletes across a range of sports to make sure they can reach their potential. With a little over 18 months before London 2012, the Government’s reform of the National Lottery has delivered for sport, providing additional funding for athletes in six summer Olympic sports as well as increasing investment to winter sports to help athletes follow in Amy Williams footsteps in Sochi 2014.”

This year’s process also saw the announcement of funding for Winter sports for the Sochi Cycle (2010-2014), which for the first time were judged on the same ‘no compromise’ criteria as the Summer sports, rather than receiving separate ring-fenced allocations.  As a result the total funding for Winter Olympic sport has risen from £6.5 million for Vancouver to £11.3m for Sochi, an increase again funded through increased Lottery income and prioritization of overall spend.

Following another successful Olympic campaign, in which Amy Williams won Olympic Gold, Bob Skeleton saw their funding rise by £1.3 million to £3.4 million for the Sochi cycle, while five other Winter Olympic and Paralympic sports received funding for Sochi 2014:  Curling (£2.1m);   Short Track Speed Skating (£2.8m); Bobsleigh (£2.4m – women’s programme only); Wheelchair Curling (£234,000); and Para-skiing (£268,000).

Previously funded winter sports which, at the present time, do not meet UK Sport’s funding criteria, are Figure Skating, Men’s Bobsleigh, Snowboarding and Skiing.  As with any non-funded Olympic and Paralympic sport, their ongoing performance will be assessed at each Annual Review point and are therefore able to be funded in the future if they meet the criteria set out in UK Sport’s investment strategy.

Baroness Campbell, continued:  “Bringing Winter sports in line with their Summer counterparts is the final piece of the ‘no compromise’ jigsaw and is something sports have been calling for to ensure complete clarity and fairness in the way in which we distribute our funds. Beijing showed that the UK Sport ‘no compromise’ approach works and it is right this is now embedded across the whole high performance system.”

SOURCE: UK SPORT