Funding Appeals For Six Olympics Sports Rejected By UK Sport; Weightlifting Restored
Weightlifting "has had its UK Sport funding restored after a successful appeal," but the withdrawal of funding for six other sports "remains in place," according to the BBC. Basketball, synchronized swimming, water polo and Paralympic sports wheelchair fencing, goalball and five-a-side football "continue to lose out." All of the sports facing funding cuts "are considering an appeal against the decision." Weightlifting's reinstated funding is £894,000 ($1.5M), taking the total to £1.8M ($3M). Badminton has had £250,000 ($413,000) reinstated, taking its total funding to £5.9M (9.7M). UK Sport Chair Rod Carr said, "The starting point for UK Sport and the board is that we want to be able to invest in as many Olympic and Paralympic sports as possible but they must be able to credibly demonstrate medal-winning potential within eight years." British swimming CEO David Sparkes said, "This is a very dark and sad day for British sport -- especially for women's sport" (BBC, 3/19). In London, Ben Rumsby reported the Government and UK Sport "were under mounting pressure" to address the growing “bias” in funding between elite individual and team sports on Wednesday night after five of the latter -- including basketball -- "had the loss of millions of pounds of Lottery support confirmed" (TELEGRAPH, 3/19). In London, Owen Gibson reported the decision "has sparked a wide ranging debate" about the "no compromise" funding formula that requires sports to demonstrate medal-winning potential and has taken Great Britain from 36th in the medal table at the 1996 Atlanta Games to third at the 2012 London Games with 65 medals (GUARDIAN, 3/19).
BASKETBALL BLUES: In London, Jim White reported for British basketball, Wednesday "was the opposite of a slam dunk." The elite game in this country "was effectively emasculated." There "will still be government money injected into the grassroots (or in basketball’s case the floorboards) through Sport England." But as far as our representative sides are concerned, "a final time out has been called." When it comes to the Rio Olympics, British basketball "finds itself on an equal footing with the Faroe Islands and Papua New Guinea." In truth, "we now have about as much chance of securing a medal as Jack Warner has of being invited to the Anti-Corruption League’s annual dinner" (TELEGRAPH, 3/19). In London, Ben Jefferson reported the decision comes after British Basketball made presentations to UK Sport urging it to reconsider its Feb. 4 decision to pull the £1.6M ($2.7M)-a-year investment in the sport. The decision could mean that NBA players Luol Deng and Joel Freeland "may be asked to pay their own insurance costs for this summer's EuroBasket 2015 qualifiers" (EXPRESS, 3/19).