Britons call for reform
LONDON. - The national governing bodies of 11 Olympic and Paralympic sports issued a joint statement yesterday calling for Britain to abandon a “two-class system” of funding fixated on medal success.
The sports, which include archery, badminton, fencing and weightlifting, have been left without National Lottery and government funding ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We’ve been thrown under a bus,” Adrian Christy, the Badminton England chief executive whose sport came home from last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a bronze medal, told the BBC.
The “Every Sport Matters” joint manifesto said the existing approach had reaped plenty of medals but disenfranchised elite athletes with a system that “runs counter to Olympic ideals”.
“Currently, athletes in sports deprived of Lottery funding will find it almost impossible to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” it added.
“Even athletes with recognised medal potential created by Lottery funding have now been completely abandoned by the system.”
UK Sport’s focus on medal potential has produced record returns, with Britain second in the Rio Olympic standings with 27 gold medals and 67 in total. In 1996, Britain was 36th in the medals table with just one gold among 15 medals. - Reuters.