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UK Sport outlines plans for £352million investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport

UK Sport

6 min read Partner content

UK Sport has today signalled its intent for the UK to become successful in a wider range of sports and build a high-performance sports community which reflects the diversity of British society.

Investment for all athletes preparing for Tokyo Games protected

Plans unveiled to enable Britain to become more successful in more sports

Increased number of sports (43) set to receive funding and more than ever before (36) on World Class Programme

New Progression Funding for seven sports to uncover champions of tomorrow as part of 12-year approach to delivering success, including climbing, skateboarding, basketball and surfing

New fund planned for sports outside of the World Class Programme and Progression Funding

Friday 18 December - UK Sport has today signalled its intent for the UK to become successful in a wider range of sports and build a high-performance sports community which reflects the diversity of British society. The shift is supported by a plan for investment of £352m into an increased number of sports (43) in the build up to the postponed Tokyo Games, through to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.

A full breakdown of planned investments is available here

Today’s welcome news provides certainty of funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports in the build up to the Tokyo Games, ensuring athletes can focus on their preparations, ready to make us all proud in Tokyo.

The support provided by Government and The National Lottery also allows UK Sport to look to the athletes of the future who are targeting success at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.

Progression Funding plan unveiled to support long term success

As 36 sports, more than ever before, receive World Class Programme funding, the seven Progression investments mark the start of a programme of support in the long-term medal potential of new and exciting sports. The seven sports are basketball, climbing, fencing, skateboarding, surfing, table tennis and weightlifting.

New additions to the Olympic programme, climbing, skateboarding and surfing will receive investment, along with the four other sports. Together, they will play an important role in a wider shift to take a 12-year view of success and kick-start the search for the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic champions.

New fund launched to support national squads

A new £3m fund will open next year to support sports that did not secure Progression investment with the costs of forming and fielding national squads. This will enable athletes in these sports to attend major international championships and access other events that form the critical path to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, providing a platform on which these athletes can perform, seek Games qualification and build a future case for investment.

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport said: “2020 has been a hugely challenging year for all of us, but I’m proud to have seen Olympic and Paralympic sport and athletes playing their part in communities up and down the country. The postponement of the Tokyo Games has also shown just how much we’ve all missed coming together to cheer on our brilliant athletes.

“Over the past two decades we have established strong foundations on which to build the next iteration of this Great British sporting success story.

“The next chapter of this exciting journey is all about how we win on the global stage. I want our sporting community to be known internationally for its people-first approach and also known for upholding the highest standards of integrity.

“I’m delighted that thanks to the support of the Government and The National Lottery players, we’ve been able to set out clear support for our Olympic and Paralympic sports, to help them get ready for Tokyo and beyond.”

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport said: "Over the past decade, one of Britain's greatest success stories has been becoming an Olympic and Paralympic powerhouse, supported by funding from the Government.

“Our elite athletes have helped to inspire many to take up sport for the first time, while promoting the best of Britain abroad and making the country proud.

“As we emerge from the pandemic our athletes will have our full support to focus on delivering more memorable medal-winning performances at Tokyo and beyond.”

Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport said: “Today’s decisions signal our future ambition to broaden the areas in which we achieve global success and deepening our societal impact.

“This means supporting more sports via the World Class Programme and Progression Funding than ever before, as well as welcoming more athletes and staff from varied backgrounds into our high-performance sporting community so we better reflect the diversity of the country we represent.

“As a sector we must be better at reaching, connecting and inspiring the British public in order to deepen our societal impact in communities across the country, using the exceptional power of sport and our platform in the British conscious.

“I’m really pleased that we’ll be launching a new fund next year which will be open to any summer sport not on World Class Programme or Progression Funding.”


The funded Olympic sports are:

World Class Programme – archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, hockey, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, triathlon.

Progression –basketball, climbing, fencing, skateboarding, surfing, table tennis, weightlifting 

The funded Paralympic sports are:

World Class Programme – boccia, para-archery, para-athletics, para-badminton, para-canoe, para-cycling, para-equestrian, para-rowing, para-shooting, para-swimming, para-table tennis, para taekwondo, para-triathlon, powerlifting, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, VI judo

Neil Armitage, Archery GB CEO, said: “We are delighted that the funding announced today will allow us to deliver our ambitions for an even better Performance Archery programme in Paris 2024. We understand the pressures that UK Sport and the wider sector are under as a consequence of the challenging circumstances created by the pandemic. But we are so pleased that sport is recognised as an important asset making a positive contribution to British society. Archery and Para-archery are important inclusive programmes encouraging a diverse set of athletes delivering world-beating performances as we approach the Tokyo games and beyond.”  

British Rowing CEO, Andy Parkinson, said: "In these difficult economic times, this funding announcement from UK Sport is welcome news and much appreciated.  We now have clarity for both Tokyo 2020 and the Paris 2024 cycle which is important and means we can focus on finalising the delivery of our Tokyo campaign in the crucial months ahead. The support of the National Lottery and the Government will once again enable our brilliant athletes to achieve their dreams on the Olympic and Paralympic stage, supported by our world class team of coaches and staff." 

James Hope-Gill, Skateboard GB Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive this progression grant funding from UK Sport which will give us the opportunity to support talented skaters. This is a game-changer for the sport and will enable us to work with the skateboarding community to build the foundations of talent and world-class performance programmes that complement the culture of skateboarding.” 

David Pond, Chief Executive GB Wheelchair Rugby, said: “GB Wheelchair Rugby is truly delighted with the funding investment for the sport announced by UK Sport today. We are very conscious of the many worthy and competing demands for public investment in the wake of the COVID‐19 pandemic and will do everything we can to deliver on the faith placed in us and lift ourselves from fourth in the world to a medal position. We understand the positive impact our sport and athletes have on our communities and we have a team who are hungry to medal. This investment will go a long way to progressing the sport in the UK.” 


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Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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