We’re creating a new Aspiration Fund to inspire local communities and help develop future champions 🚴♀️🏊♀️🏇— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 14, 2018
We want to make sure that Britain continues to be an Olympic and Paralympic powerhouse 🇬🇧🏅 pic.twitter.com/NFvDfcutTT
Sports that missed out on funding for the 2020 Olympics after being judged "unlikely medal winners" will now be able to "bid for money from a new fund" announced by the U.K. government, according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. In a "significant shift of funding policy," U.K. Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said that the £3M ($3.95M) Aspiration Fund will help "bridge the gap" between the "haves and have-nots" of elite funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports. The "no-compromise" approach used by UK Sport "targets money purely at strong medal prospects." The new fund "should help" sports such as basketball, wheelchair rugby and fencing, which were "cut off from elite funding when judged as unlikely medal prospects." The decision regarding basketball was "particularly controversial given the sport's popularity in urban areas and potential to inspire young people." Under the new funding scheme, team sports will be able to bid for grants of £500,000 ($657,700) and individual sports for up to £275,000 ($361,700), with the money to run through the Tokyo 2020 cycle (LONDON TIMES, 10/12). The BBC reported all unfunded Summer Olympic and Paralympic sports are "eligible to apply for the new fund." Skateboard England CEO James Hope-Gill said that the body is "very excited." Hope-Gill said, "If we are successful in our application, this means that we will be able to give an opportunity to GB skateboarders to enter Olympic qualification events around the world so that they can gain ranking points," adding that it was an "unexpected opportunity." British Surfing, which last month set up a crowdfunding page after also missing out on funding, believes the Aspiration Fund "could prove the difference." British Surfing Dir Nick Hounsfield: "This sort of funding, carefully managed, can absolutely give them the best preparation for Olympic qualification" (BBC, 10/12).