An Open Letter to British Wrestling Association members, athletes, coaches and officials about the future of Olympic funding in the UK
The athletes within the, now 11, Olympic sports cast aside by UK Sport’s current funding policy have little hope for change as UK Sport looks ahead to Paris 2024.
Under the heading of ‘Future Strategy’, UK Sport’s, currently open, public consultation survey (link) on future funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport illustrates that there is little appetite for change.
Sports currently unfunded
At the London 2012 Games, UK Sport invested the public’s Lottery and Exchequer money into 100% of Olympic and Paralympic sports. At Rio 2016 this figure reduced to 64% and in Tokyo 2020, the investment is likely to be in the region of just 48%. With less lottery investment predicted post-2020, UK Sports policy is fast reducing to an exclusive club with fewer and fewer members allowed in.
This ever reducing strategy must be turned round members of British Wrestling are urged to have your say on how you want the future investment into the British elite sports system to be used.
Should the current policy continue, the implications for Wrestling are huge because our sport is not one that can deliver multiple medal opportunities.
Even sports that met their Rio 2016 Olympics medal target set by UK Sport are still having to convince UK Sport that they have future medal potential; Wrestling is one of many sports left wondering what it has to do to receive investment that can support athletes with future potential.
The effect of UK Sport’s investment decisions is wide-ranging:
Around 18 months ago, a group of 11 Olympic and Paralympic sports came together around a different strategy – the concept that Every Sport Matters. The group strongly believe that:
What is the future of the current British high-performance strategy if, one-by-one, the current medal-winning sports stop winning medals, thus inexorably losing their funding too – and a generation of talent from other sports has not been able to develop and emerge?
Surely, this is not the way to approach our future.
YOUR SAY will influence hopes of 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 (qualified)
– more medals won
(across more sports)
This goal can be achieved without sacrificing current medal success. But it will require a change in UK Sport’s current approach – to one in which the current leading Olympic and Paralympic sports will continue to be rewarded but all Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes will have a chance to succeed.
You are all passionate about Wrestling and all are proud when Wrestlers stand on the podium, not just because of their achievements, but because it inspires young people to wrestle in schools, more people to participate, more members to join clubs, more athletes who want to improve and more athletes who want to compete.
Fill in the UK Sport Questionnaire to keep Olympic dreams alive for British Wrestling’s young athletes.
BY 19th August
Have your say – https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/1/p1865845301.aspx – to exert maximum influence on UK Sport and the Government to keep those dreams alive.
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