Funding for Britain’s Olympic sports will continue through until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday.
Current funding levels, which saw UK Sport receive £125m each year from the government and National Lottery to distribute between sports, had previously only been guaranteed to run until the end of 2014.
The move, which will also benefit Paralympic sports, is designed to give athletes dependant on funding financial security in the run up to Rio and “reward the success of the UK’s outstanding elite sport system”.
“I want one of the legacies of these Games to be our athletes triumphing in Rio in 2016, and in future Olympic Games,” said the PM in a Downing Street statement. “Guaranteeing this funding will help ensure that happens”.
As part of the deal, and to build on the “inspire a generation” message of the Games, athletes will be asked to give up five days a year of their time to participate in campaigns to encourage school sport.
Olympic performance often plays a big factor in how the money is divvied up between sports. Cycling (£26.03m) was only second behind rowing (£27.29m) in how much funding it received each year in the four years between Beijing and London, and after scooping eight from a possible 14 golds, they can be optimistic about the next Olympic cycle.
Swimming, whose £25.14m produced just three medals (two bronzes and one silver), may have cause for concern.